August 7, 2009
Revealed: GPs still prescribing pill, despite evidence of risk in pregnancy
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.
The problems relate to a class of drug known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which includes Prozac and, in particular, the British-made Seroxat.
Several studies have shown a link to birth defects, particularly malformed hearts, in a small proportion of the babies born to women who were taking the drug in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Most GPs in the UK believe that these drugs are safer than older antidepressants. Seroxat has been marketed to women as a drug to relieve anxiety and depression.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration, which licences medicines, issued a warning in 2005 and changed the status of Seroxat, which is sold there under the brand name Paxil. The FDA warns doctors “not to prescribe Paxil in women who are in the first three months of pregnancy or are planning pregnancy, unless other treatment options are not appropriate”.
Read entire article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/aug/07/women-antidepressant-birth-defects
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