Off-label use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has come in for plenty of debate in recent years. The expensive, newer-generation “atypicals” have been used to treat dementia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder…the list goes on. And all this while the Justice Department was investigating Big Pharma for off-label promotion of the drugs.
Donald Light, a sociologist and professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, contends that the spate of instances in which drugmakers hid or downplayed info about serious side effects – or overstated benefits – has transformed the market for medicines into one for lemons.
A new study out yesterday—June 1, 2010—has revealed a higher rate of miscarriages in women who were taking antidepressants during pregnancy. How much higher? Sixty-eight percent—yes —that’s 68%—higher. Frankly, that is nothing short of shocking.
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of spontaneous abortions by about two-thirds, Canadian researchers reported Monday. The increased risk was greatest with the family of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), especially paroxetine and venlafaxine, and when more than one family of drugs were used.
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.