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Psychotropic drugs can cause birth defects

By Paul Wallis     Jun 28, 2010 in Health
Copenhagen - Research in Denmark has produced alarming findings regarding major psychotropic drugs, whose side effects may include birth defects and withdrawals.
The University of Copenhagen study has identified lack of knowledge about the commonly used antidepressants as a serious potential issue for expectant mothers.
A nine-year study of 429 cases of adverse reaction for children under 17 produced some grim statistics. This age group is within the target bandwidth for the original Depression Generation of parents. The use of antidepressants has been increasing decade by decade, and is at epidemic levels compared to the mid 20th century.
The study, published an article in the open access journal BMC Research Notes, stated that more than half of the 429 cases were serious and several involved birth defects, such as birth deformities and severe withdrawal syndromes.
Of most concern was the fact that many of the drugs involved in adverse pediatric reactions were very common, including antidepressants such as Prozac, Ritalin, and anti-psychotic drugs.
Dosages of these drugs were also considered a problem by the study. The “half life” of some drugs means that it may take weeks for a single dose to be removed from the body.
Although complaints about antidepressants, and particularly about the brands which cause withdrawal and “suicidal side effects”, have been continuous, not much has happened in terms of regulation. The overall levels of scrutiny of the large numbers of psychotropics on the market have been low, even after large numbers of cases of suicides and attempted suicides.
The University of Copenhagen research, interestingly, has a parallel in the Mayo Clinic’s advice regarding use of antidepressants during pregnancy. The Mayo advises regarding specific anti depressants, including several that pose “suggested risks of limb malformation but not confirmed by newer studies” and stroke, which are considered side effects.
The different findings highlights the dichotomy in medical research between risk and reward. Readers may judge for themselves the standards applied in the findings of the University of Copenhagen and the Mayo.
More about Antidepressants, Psychotropic drugs, Birth defects
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