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Boys with autism more likely to have been exposed to SSRIs in womb

Boys born to women who took a type of antidepressant during pregnancy were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than boys who were not exposed to the drugs in utero, a new study has found. The greatest risk was in boys who were exposed to the drugs during the mother’s first trimester of pregnancy. Researchers also found boys exposed to these antidepressants were more likely to have developmental delays. The new study, published this week online and in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics, focused on a commonly prescribed class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin ... Read More

European drug regulators place stronger birth defects warnings on SSRI antidepressants

Four years before she became pregnant, Anna Wilson was prescribed the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram) to treat symptoms of anxiety. Her doctor told her that it would be OK to continue to take the medication even when she starting trying to get pregnant. The safety label for Celexa did not indicate the drug would be dangerous for unborn babies. Unfortunately, Anna would learn the hard way that developing fetuses are particularly vulnerable to ill effects from the drug. Celexa is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs in this class include the brand names Paxil, ... Read More

Pregnant women using SSRIs have double the risk of having a baby with heart defect

Using a common class of antidepressant while pregnant can double the risk of a child being born with heart defects, suggests a new study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom. The research lends more weight to safety concerns over the use of antidepressants in pregnant women. The study focused on the most prescribed class of antidepressants – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Brand name SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. Researchers say about two out of every 100 babies are born with a heart defect. However, if the mother is using an SSRI, the risk increases to ... Read More

Large study establishes link between SSRI use during pregnancy and birth defects

In December 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that health care providers not alter their current practice for treating depression in pregnant patients. The recommendation was based on a review of data that up to that point had been inconsistent on whether using antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could cause harm to developing fetuses if taken by the mother during pregnancy. However, a month after the FDA’s announcement that studies had not established a link between use during pregnancy and birth defects, a large retrospective cohort study was published that strongly suggests that SSRI exposure ... Read More

SSRI use during fertility treatments shows little benefit to mother or fetus

Depressed women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) who are also undergoing infertility treatment may be more likely not to conceive, to suffer complications with pregnancy, and to have a baby with birth defects, a new meta-analysis shows. Women undergoing infertility treatments often battle depression. A study published in Medical News Today investigated depressed women undergoing infertility treatment and the risks to their fetuses while taking SSRIs. The new meta-analysis took a different approach than past studies, investigating the safety and efficacy of infertile women being treated with SSRIs. Researchers culled through studies and found that SSRI is associated with lowered ... Read More

Few resources give reliable information about safety of medication during pregnancy

Women have few reliable and easy-to-understand resources available to tell them what medications may be harmful to their unborn child if the drugs are used during pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. Women usually search the internet for information about pregnancy in general. However, when CDC researchers examined 25 pregnancy-related websites they found contradictory information about which drugs pose risks to pregnant women or their fetuses. One site listed 22 products as safe that were considered risky on another site. Plus, there was no information to back up safety claims made for 40 percent of ... Read More

Women file birth defect lawsuits against SSRI makers

Attorneys are taking up the fight against pharmaceutical companies for women who say the antidepressants they were taking while pregnant caused their babies to be born with serious birth defects. The women claim that the drug companies knew the medications could cause problems with developing fetuses but failed to disclose the information. The medications the women took were in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. They are among the most prescribed drugs in the United States, and include brand names such as Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, and Prozac. The drugs are used to treat ... Read More

Study links SSRI use to dangerous pregnancy complication

Recent studies have shown that some types of antidepressants increase the risk for birth defects when mothers take them while pregnant. But new studies suggest that the medication may also cause problems with the pregnancy itself. The new study, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that pregnant women who use antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a slightly higher risk of developing dangerously high blood pressure, a condition known as preeclampsia that can be harmful for both mother and the unborn child. SSRIs are among the most prescribed medications in the United States, and ... Read More

New iPad app helps identify best antidepressant for patients

A new iPad app can help doctors determine the best antidepressant to treat patients. The new Clinaptica Depression Consultant app was developed by Scaled Psychiatric Systems, Inc. It costs $4.95 at the App Store, and is designed to go beyond any previous system for people with depressive disorders to recommend antidepressant therapies specific to different patient characteristics. Arizona Physician Dr. Rakesh Patel has used an online version of the program since 2006 and says the treatment recommendations have been “spot on almost every time.” A multi-study presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in 2009 showed that a sample ... Read More

Birth defects lawsuits filed against makers of antidepressant Lexapro

Three new lawsuits have been filed against the makers of the antidepressant Lexapro by women who claim that using the drug during pregnancy caused them to deliver babies with various birth defects including spina bifida and club foot. Lexapro is in a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other drugs in this class include the brand names Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. SSRIs are among the most prescribed medications in the country and have been considered relatively safe to use during pregnancy because there were no tests that suggested the drugs could cause problems in developing ... Read More