Surviving Schizophrenia: A Memoir

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I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was just nineteen. I am forty-three now, and I have recovered – and I use the term...

Antidepressants and Pregnancy:  Who Says They Are Safe? 

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Depression during pregnancy is an important issue. Depression should not be ignored and depressed pregnant women deserve good treatment and care. Part of that good care, though, is providing them with full and correct information. I care for pregnant women taking antidepressants on a daily basis and too often they tell me that the only counseling they received about the medication was, “my doctor told me it’s safe in pregnancy.” This post will review the evidence in this area and address the counterarguments.

Interview: Researchers Deconstruct Ghostwritten Industry Trial for Antidepressant

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Researchers, Jon Jureidini, Jay Amsterdam and Leemon McHenry, have taken a closer look at the data from a randomized control trial of citalopram (Celexa) that was ghostwritten and then used by the manufacturers to support claims of the drug’s efficacy and safety in the treatment of child and adolescent depression. To get the background on this story, we connected with Dr. Leemon McHenry, an investigator in this study and a lecturer in philosophy at California State University, Northridge.

Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Increases Risk of Preterm Birth, Latest Review Finds

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Antidepressant use during pregnancy has been associated with a number of fetal and developmental complications. The latest meta-analysis of the effect of SSRI antidepressants...

Study Finds Antidepressants in Pregnancy Increase Risk for Speech Disorders

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A new study published this week in JAMA Psychiatry indicates that infants are more likely to develop speech or language disorders if they are exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy.

What’s the Harm in Taking an Antidepressant?

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We know that all drugs have side effects. That’s just part of the deal right? But is it really possible that an antidepressant can cause a sane person to act like a cold-blooded criminal?

Autism, Antidepressants, and Pregnancy: The Basics

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This month, the seventh study and eighth study came out on the topic of antidepressant exposure during pregnancy and autism.  And these studies showed, as essentially all of the others have, that antidepressant use during pregnancy (principally with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs) is associated with autism in the exposed children. With so many children being diagnosed with autism and so many women taking antidepressants during pregnancy, everyone wants to know: are these things (the antidepressants) associated with autism or not?  Quite frankly no one has the time to read through all eight scientific papers (and dozens more animal and basic science studies) to understand this important area, so I will do my best to briefly summarize it here.

Evidence Lacking for Antidepressant Safety in Nursing Mothers

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A scientific review says we need to know much more about the risks of nursing mothers taking SSRIs.

SSRI Exposure in Pregnancy Alters Fetal Neurodevelopment

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Alterations in gray matter and white matter development found in infants of mothers taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.

New Research on Prenatal SSRI Exposure and Autism

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Does maternal SSRI exposure increase the chances that a child will develop characteristics associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Chemicals Have Consequences: Antidepressants, Pregnancy, and the New York Times

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Depressed pregnant women need good care.  They should not be made to feel guilty for the choices they make concerning their depression or lectured to by those who don’t understand the area or lack compassion for them.  In that sense, Andrew Solomon does the public a service by turning his attention and writing talents to the topic of depression and pregnancy this week in the New York Times.  However, a crucial part of providing good care to depressed pregnant women is to give them accurate information on the topic.  In this sense, Andrew Solomon falls short.

Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Women Taking Antidepressants

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A detailed meta-analysis of the published research on women taking antidepressants during pregnancy finds that the rate of preterm birth is nearly doubled in the third...

Infants Exposed to Psychotropic Drugs During Pregnancy At Risk

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New research published in the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that the use of mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and hypnotics during pregnancy is associated with increased health risks to the infant.

Antidepressants, Pregnancy, and Autism: Why Wouldn’t Antidepressant Chemicals Affect a Developing Baby’s Brain?

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This week another study was published showing that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased rates of autism in the children.  By my count, this is now the tenth study on this topic and it follows on the heels of previous studies – all of which found links between SSRI antidepressant use in pregnancy and autism in the offspring.  Most of these studies were recently reviewed by Man, et al, who also concluded that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with autism in the children. So we now have numerous studies in different human populations all showing a link between SSRI use in pregnancy and autism in the children. Yet, much of the news and blogosphere focus on casting doubts about these findings. What is going on here?

Paxil Linked to Birth Defects, Cardiac Malformations

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According to the CDC, January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. New research continues to link various SSRI antidepressants with birth defects and neurological abnormalities in newborns. The latest study to examine this topic, a meta-analysis led by Dr. Anick Bérard, found a 23% increased risk for birth defects, and a 28% increased risk for heart problems, in the infants of women who took the SSRI Paxil (paroxetine) during their first trimester.

Lawsuit Filed for Alleged Zoloft-Related Birth Defects

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Lawyers in St. Louis have filed a lawsuit against Pfizer that alleges 18 children were born with birth defects caused by the antidepressant Zoloft...

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autistic Behavior in Mice

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Researchers experimenting on mice found that exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac) in utero resulted in behaviors considered in animal studies to be analogous to autism in humans.
pregnancy

How Should We Treat Depression in Pregnancy?

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What depressed pregnant women need is compassionate care and accurate information that recognizes the potentially severe consequences of depression while making it clear that chemicals going into a baby throughout its development will likely have consequences for that development.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

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When you take a woman who has been eating processed food, taking The Pill, antibiotics, and maybe even a PPI, exposed to xenoestrogens, endocrine disruptors, and friendly-bacteria-slaughtering pesticides and you grow a baby in that womb, there is a good chance you have created a time-bomb. Throw in 70 doses of 16 neurotoxic and immunosuppressive vaccines by age 18, some formula, and genetically modified and processed baby food, 4 years of plastic diapers, and Johnson’s 1,4-dioxane babywash and… Houston, we have a problem.

Women on SSRIs Less Likely To Breastfeed

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In a prospective cohort study of 466 pregnant women over 10 years, researchers at the California Teratogen Information Service found that women exposed to...

June 27, 2011

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Dear Bob-- I have been working again, taking temporary assignments filling in for other physicians and working in urgent cares while I get my practice...

Antidepressants and Preterm Birth: More Concerning Findings

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An important new research paper was published this week on the topic of antidepressant use during pregnancy and preterm birth.  The issue is a crucial one as preterm birth (i.e. birth at less than 37 weeks gestational age) is one of the most challenging problems facing the obstetrical community today.  Rates of preterm birth have been increasing over the past two decades.  Babies born early have increased risks of morbidity and mortality.  At the same time, rates of antidepressant use during pregnancy have increased dramatically.

FDA Asks Pfizer for Update to Zoloft Label, Warns of Birth Defect Risks

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Bloomberg reports that the FDA asked Pfizer in August “to modify safety warnings for its antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) and acknowledge for the first time that some studies linked the mood-altering medication to heart defects in newborns.”

The Taint of Eugenics In NIMH-Funded Research Today

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Recently, Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, identified the “NIMH’s Top 10 Research Advances of 2011.” He wrote: “This has been a year of exciting discoveries and scientific progress . . . Here are 10 breakthroughs and events of 2011 that are changing the landscape of mental health research.”

Exposure to Antidepressants in the Womb Linked to Autism

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Researchers, publishing in Toxicology Research, review the evidence that antidepressant exposure in the womb is linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in humans.