Birth Defects Associated With Antidepressants in the News
A new study by scientists at Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University and Tufts University School of Medicine has confirmed the findings of numerous previous studies that have linked maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy with an increased risk of preterm birth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, preterm birth affects nearly 500,000 babies – 1 of every 8 infants born in the United States. It was the leading cause of infant death in 2009 and is also the leading cause of neurological disabilities in children.
June 23, 2013
British Drug Agency will Recommend Against Antidepressants for Pregnant Women
BBC News announced today that Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will soon recommend that pregnant women with mild to moderate depression avoid taking antidepressants. NICE publishes guidelines that form the basis of health care treatment in Britain and Wales. According to Professor Stephen Pilling, a NICE adviser quoted in the BBC report, the use of SSRI antidepressants – drugs like Zoloft and Celexa – during pregnancy can double the risk of a child being born with a heart defect. He stated that NICE treatment guidelines will be rewritten to reflect evidence linking the use of antidepressants during pregnancy to heart defects in newborns.
June 12, 2013
Antidepressants in Drinking Water could Harm Human Health
Scientists have expressed renewed concern about antidepressants in U.S. waterways following research that shows the drugs, even at the low concentrations seen in some streams, can alter the brains and behavior of fish. According to a report in Environmental Health News (EHN), researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that male minnows exposed to small doses of Prozac in laboratories ignored females and at slightly higher levels – levels still found in some wastewater – they became aggressive, killing females. The researchers also studied the antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor). EHN stated that antidepressants are the highest-documented drugs contaminating U.S. waterways.
May 23, 2013
CEO of Forest Labs Announces Retirement Two Weeks After Receiving Subpeona
Howard Solomon, the 85-year-old CEO of Forest Laboratories, has announced that he will step down from his post at the end of the year. The announcement came a little over two weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice handed Forest a subpoena concerning the drugmaker's Turdorza Pressair medication, used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The subpoena itself lacks much detail concerning Forest's alleged misdeeds, however, it does come as a surprise considering it was roughly three years ago that Forest pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges related to three other drugs marketed by the company, antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro, and a medication called Levothroid. Forest was accused of illegally marketing Celexa and Lexapro and distributing Levothroid for unapproved uses.
The company was forced to pay a total of $313 million for the alleged fraud, $164 million of which came in the form of criminal fines. Forest also signed a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the drugmaker maintained a company compliance program and stayed out of trouble with the law. In 2011, after the company signed its Corporate Integrity Agreement, lawmakers briefly attempted to go after Solomon, threatening to eliminate Forest's ability to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Many in the field are not at all surprised by the findings in the Swedish study. Animal studies have shown time and again that a developing fetus exposed to antidepressants experience brain changes that are quite similar to autism. At any rate, this and other studies point to a non-drug approach to treating depression during pregnancy as "reasonable to think about."
April 22, 2013
Another Study Links Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy to Autism
A new study has found a link between antidepressant use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorders. The study looked at data collected from the Swedish medical birth register. Researchers reported that "in utero exposure to both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) and nonselective monoamine reuptake inhibitors (tricyclic antidepressants) was associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders, particularly without intellectual disability."
March 3, 2013
Dr. Oz Discusses "The Myth of Antidepressants"
We see ads on television all the time telling us that these "miracle pills" can cure low energy, anxiety and down moods. The ugly truth about antidepressants, according to Dr. Oz, is that for most patients, these drugs simply don't work. "They can actually make your problems worse," says Dr. Oz in a segment to air on April 3, 2013. "They may even cause deadly harm. And most frightening of all, if you're a woman between 40 and 60, chances are about one in four, you're on them."
December 5, 2012
Class Action Status Granted in Canadian Lawsuit Alleging Antidepressant Caused Birth Defect
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has given the green light to the first class action lawsuit in Canada to allege that an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant taken during pregnancy caused a woman's child to be born with a birth defect. More than two dozen women have applied to join the suit.
August 1, 2012
Research Suggests Owning a Pet Beneficial to Autistic Children
A new autism study conducted by researchers in France has found that having a pet can improve social skills in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. The study found that children who were given a pet at about five years old saw the best improvements in social behavior.
April 24, 2012
New Study: Antidepressants Do More Harm Than Good
A new study published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology calls into question the effectiveness of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs like Celexa, Lexapro and Zoloft, stating that the dangers (antidepressant side effects) can outweigh the benefits to many who take them.
April 1, 2012
Study Links SSRI Antidepressants to Dangerous Pregnancy Disorder
A new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology has shown that the use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women. Use of SSRIs was associated with an up to 81 percent increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension. A summary of the study is available from the Wiley Online Library.
March 8, 2012
60 Minutes Report: Antidepressants -- The Emperor Has No Clothes
For many people, particularly those who have taken or are currently taking antidepressants, the 60 Minutes segment that aired on February 19, 2012 was a hard pill to swallow. Consumers are shocked, flabbergasted, and have been left in stunned disbelief – how could this be?
March 5, 2012
Delayed Fetal Head Growth in Maternal Use of SSRI's, Study Finds
Mothers using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy risk their child being born with serious birth defects, a new study suggests.
January 13, 2012
Study Finds Link Between Antidepressants and PPHN
A study published Thursday in the British Medical Journal has found that women who take Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) during their pregnancy can significantly increase their risk of giving birth to a child with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn (PPHN). The study found that women who take SSRI antidepressants were twice as likely to give birth to a child with PPHN compared to mothers who did not take antidepressants while pregnant.
PPHN is a life-threatening disorder in which the newborn's arteries to the lungs remain constricted after delivery, limiting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and therefore the amount of oxygen into the bloodstream. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 11 percent of newborns diagnosed with PPHN will die from it. It is estimated that 1.5 percent of women in the United States take some form of antidepressant while pregnant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about the dangerous link between SSRI antidepressants and PPHN since 2006.
September 22, 2011
CHOC Walk in the Park 2011 at Disneyland October 16, 2011
On Sunday, October 16, 2011, several staff from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman and Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. (RCRSD), will be participating in a walk for CHOC Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where one of our antidepressant birth defect clients has been cared for over the years. This walk will help raise money for the hospital and contribute to the continued excellent care that this hospital has given to so many children.
May 3, 2011
New Study Calls to Question the Effectiveness of Antidepressants
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas has called into question the effectiveness of antidepressants. The study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that 75 percent of people taking the antidepressant, Celexa, reported five or more depression symptoms, including insomnia, sadness and a decreased ability to concentrate.
August 27, 2010
Golden Gate Bridge - Organ-ize The Planet Walk Dedicated to Aaron Tanner
On August 28, 2010 people joined together in San Francisco, California to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in order to raise both awareness of organ donation and funds for people in need of organ transplants. It was the second annual Golden Gate Bridge Walk, sponsored by Organ-ize The Planet and California Transplant Donor Net.
February 23, 2010
Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Delay Developmental Milestones
Recent research has linked prenatal exposure to antidepressants with developmental milestone delays in early childhood. The study, published in the March 2010 issue of Pediatrics, found associations between exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy and prolonged motor developmental milestones at six and 19 months of age. Effexor was one of the antidepressants that was listed in the study.
August 7, 2009
Women Given Antidepressant that Can Cause Birth Defects
Thousands of women in the UK may be taking antidepressants prescribed by their GPs without knowing that the pills, which are hard to stop taking, could cause birth defects in unborn children.
August 7, 2009
Antidepressants Once Seen as Miracle Drugs: Now Risks are Becoming Evident
Since the horror of the Thalidomide scandal in the 1960s, pharmaceutical companies and medicines regulators have been acutely aware of the dangers drugs may pose to the unborn child.