Anti-Depressants In Pregnancy


Daily Mail 26.10.12 by Sophie Borland.

Thousands of women prescribed anti-depressants during pregnancy are endangering their unborn babies, researchers warn.

The widely prescribed pills have been found to drastically raise the risk of miscarriages, premature birth and autism.

Harvard Uni researchers believe too many women are taking the drugs during pregnancy because their GPs are not aware of the dangers.  They suspect drug companies are playing down the risks, as anti-depressants are so lucrative to them. 

The researchers focused on the complications linked to selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which include Prozac and Seroxat. 

They found they increase the miscarriage risk by 17% and more than double the risk of pre-eclampsia – high blood pressure during pregnancy which can be fatal.  The pills also double the chances of the baby being born premature or developing autism. They said the babies are also more likely to suffer heart defects and bowel problems. 

Dr Adam Urato, assistant prof of obstetrics and gynaecology at Tufts Uni School of Medicine, in Boston, who was involved in the study says “I am absolutely concerned- very concerned.”  He said “Never before have we chemically altered human foetal development on such a large scale.” 

Dr Alice Domar, assistant prof in obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School said there is little evidence the pills effectively treat depression anyway.  She said GPs are handing out the drugs even though depression could be far better treated with exercise and talking therapies.

Worryingly, the researchers said if women take them while trying for a baby and then come off them when they find they are pregnant it may be too late.   

The findings were presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Diego, California, who analysed over 100 studies on the risks of SSRIs.

Read the full article here: Prozac Pregnancy Alert.

Source: SPNT Health enews Oct 12

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