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|06-29-2007, 08:12 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: on the rim of the outer anus hemisphere
New SSRI Study Suggests Damage to Foetus
I have always thought that being on paxil felt like a frontal lobotomy, this article might explain why.
Some of these SSRI babies are born with "Anencephaly"
Which means they are basically born with no brain...
Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain, the largest part of the brain consisting mainly of the cerebral hemispheres (which include the isocortex, which is responsible for higher level cognition, i.e., thinking). The remaining brain tissue is often exposed - not covered by bone or skin.
As an ex-user of Paxil/Seroxat I would be very concerned of its affects on adult brains. I dread to think what damage it causes to cognitive functions also.
Analysis: SSRIs-fetal brain defect linked
By ADRIANNE APPEL
BOSTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Two new studies of anti-depressant use during pregnancy have found new evidence of a previously suspected link between anti-depressants and fetal heart defects. In addition, a troubling connection to additional problems with the fetus's developing skull and intestines have been identified for the first time.
The new research -- published in the June 28 New England Journal of Medicine -- includes a review of national data on birth defects by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control that found women who took a class of anti-depressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, had a 2.4 percent higher risk of having an infant with anencephaly, or no brain.
The study also linked SSRI use with craniosynostosis, when the skull forms too early so the brain cannot grow properly, and gastroschisis, when organs protrude from the navel.
"I want to stress that ours is only one study," Jennita Reefhuis, epidemiologist with the CDC, told United Press International. "More researchers need to look at these problems," she said.
She said that even with an increased risk due to the drugs, the chance of an infant experiencing one of these rare conditions is less than 1 percent.
"It's very important to stress that women should go and talk to their individual health care provider and come up with a plan suitable for them. Serous depression needs to treated and can have serious consequences,"
Between 8 percent and 20 percent of women in the United States are clinically depressed, and about 40,000 turn to SSRIs for treatment.
The drugs have been on the market since the late 1980s, but since then, concerns have gradually mounted about their safety in pregnant women. A number of previous studies have found a link between SSRIs and heart defects in infants.
Fetal organ systems, like the heart, lung and nervous system, form in the first trimester of pregnancy, so it is common for researchers to search that time frame for any evidence of serious drug side effects.
Another study appearing Thursday in the NEJM confirms previous evidence of a link between the SSRI anti-depressant Paxil, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and a slightly elevated risk of heart problems when taken in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The study, by researchers at Boston University, and funded in part by Glaxo, Aventis and Sanofi-Pasteur, found that Paxil tripled the risk for a rare fetal heart defect in which blood flow from the heart to the lungs is impaired. The study by the CDC found a similar link.
The problem occurs in five out of 10,000 babies in the general population, researchers said.
Similar problems were found in Paxil in 2004, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning about a possible higher risk of heart defects when pregnant women take Paxil. The drug maker also updated the drug's labeling with the warning.
The drug has been on the market since 1992, and the company has been hit with multiple lawsuits based on the fetal risk.
The study also found a two-fold higher risk of a ventricular septal defect, or "hole in the heart," in infants whose mothers took Zoloft.
The condition often heals on its own, but sometimes requires surgery.
Despite those findings, the results did not show overall problems with antidepressants, and the risk for the problems they did find was still very small, said Carol Louik, assistant professor at Boston University and lead researcher on the study.
"Overall, we would feel our results are fairly reassuring, in the sense that there are no major risks of any defects," Louik told UPI, "We don't want to alarm anyone," she said.
However, the new data were enough to raise a red flag.
"These side effects are rare, but serious," Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, told UPI.
"Even a small risk of a cardiac defect or anencephaly and you have to have that discussion," he said.
A woman might meet with a psychiatrist before she becomes pregnant, to come up with an individualized treatment plan during pregnancy that may or may not involve drugs, Duckworth said.
"It depends on how bad the depression is. Is there a risk of suicide? What other supports can be put in place instead of medication? It's a risk-benefit calculation,'" he said.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.