Last week, the New York Times ran a sad yet compelling story about a boy named Kyle, who at 18 months was put on antipsychotic drugs to quell severe temper tantrums. By the time he was 3, the poor kid had been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, insomnia and “oppositional defiant disorder” (um, isn’t that a fancy phrase for “normal toddler behavior”?). He was on the antipsychotic Risperdal, the antidepressant Prozac, two sleeping medicines and a pill for attention-deficit disorder. Did you read that?! Prozac! Sleeping pills!
Women who use antidepressants while pregnant are being warned by health chiefs about the risks to their unborn child. The Government’s medicines watchdog advised doctors there is an increased risk that babies will be born with a rare lung condition if expectant mothers take drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat.
Researchers reported on Monday that antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, which affect a message-carrying brain chemical called serotonin, may raise the risk of pre-term delivery and affect a baby’s health at birth. In fact, women who took antidepressants during pregnancy in the study had twice the risk of pre-term delivery as other women.