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malformations 31 articles

Experts worry about skyrocketing prescriptions for antidepressants

The number of prescriptions for antidepressants has reached a record high in the United Kingdom, and experts fear that some people may be unnecessarily exposed to antidepressant side effects. The Health and Social Care Information Centre released the new figures on prescription drugs, which showed antidepressant use had risen by one-third in just a year, and that about four million Britons are taking the drugs each year – twice as many compared to 10 years ago. Representatives from mental health agencies say they worry that people suffering from depression are prescribed drugs as a first-line defense because other forms of ... Read More

Celexa, Lexapro birth defects lawsuits returned to state court

Fifteen lawsuits over birth defects in children born to women who took the antidepressants Celexa or Lexapro while pregnant were remanded to state court, a federal judge in Camden, N.J., ruled. Attorneys for the drugs’ maker Forest Laboratories unsuccessfully argued that federal jurisdiction was proper because there were questions about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling of the drugs. Defendants’ claims that Forest Research Institute was fraudulently joined as a defendant were rejected as well. The 15 lawsuits are among 20 that were filed in state courts in New Jersey and removed to federal court by the drug companies. ... Read More

New study suggests SSRI use during pregnancy increases risk of autism spectrum disorders in children

Women using antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) during pregnancy may be at higher risk of having children with autism spectrum disorders, according to a new study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Several studies have raised red flags with the use of SSRIs during pregnancy. SSRIs, which include the brand names Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac, have been linked to birth defects such as persistent pulmonary hypertension, heart defects, neural tube defects and malformations. Studies have also suggested that children exposed to SSRIs in utero are more likely to have behavioral problems and ... Read More

Study: Children exposed to SSRIs in utero at greater risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes

Babies born to women who took antidepressants while pregnant are more likely to become obese and develop type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Obesity and type 2 diabetes in children is already on the rise in the United States and is generally blamed on poor diets and reduced physical activity. However, researchers with McMaster University say that maternal antidepressant use may also be a contributing factor in the pediatric obesity and diabetes epidemic. The study focused on a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which include the brand names Prozac, Lexapro, ... Read More

Antidepressant use during pregnancy remains controversial issue

A new study suggesting that there is no increased risk of heart defects in newborns exposed to antidepressants in the first three months of gestation is being criticized by medical experts. “While this is an excellent group of researchers, there are some serious flaws with this study,” says Dr. Adam Urato, maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “This isn’t rocket science. We know that exposing developing babies to synthetic chemicals is almost always a really bad idea and should be avoided whenever possible. This study does nothing to alter that common sense concolusion.” The study, conducted by ... Read More

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

SSRI antidepressants taken before pregnancy could increase the risk of autism in babies

Many concerns have been raised about the serious effects some antidepressants can have on developing fetuses when taken by their mothers during pregnancy. A new study suggests that the drugs may cause problems for babies if taken by women before they became pregnant, even if they do not use the drugs once they conceive. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the country. These include brand names such as Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac. Mounting studies show that babies born to women who take SSRIs while pregnant are at greater risk of serious ... Read More

Louisiana files class action lawsuit against Zoloft maker Pfizer alleging Medicaid Fraud

The state of Louisiana has filed a class action lawsuit against Pfizer alleging that the drug maker defrauded the state by falsely marketing the antidepressant Zoloft. The complaint claims that Pfizer knew from clinical trials on the medication that it was ineffective at treating depression, but pushed for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval anyway. As a result, Louisiana spent millions through its Medicaid program for a drug that the plaintiff alleges does not work. Zoloft, known generically as sertraline, is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other medications in this class include ... 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

Newborn’s long list of birth defects blamed on antidepressant Zoloft

Use of the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy is considered the primary cause of a long list of serious birth defects in a newborn. The case was reported last year to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting Program, and gives a glimpse of the serious effects drugs like Zoloft can have on developing fetuses. The case involved a male baby born weighing about 4 pounds. The congenital defects listed include heart defects such as aortic valve incompetence, atrial septal defect (hole in the heart), cardiomegaly (enlargement of the heart), and mitral valve incompetence and prolapse. The newborn also ... Read More