Big Pharma is in Hot Water: Antidepressants Linked To Birth Defects
When it comes to antidepressants and the number of depressed individuals, research reveals a disturbing trend. According to the CDC, an alarming 1 in 20 people are suffering from depression. Also, approximately 230 million antidepressant prescriptions are filled every year.
One would think there would be an inverse relationship - or as the rate of antidepressant use increased, the rate of people battling depression would decrease. However, that is not the case.
As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Not only are more antidepressants being prescribed, more and more people are struggling with depression – even with a wide selection of antidepressants readily available.
As alarming as that may be, the news is even worse for a certain group of people.
Antidepressants have had their share of media attention and not all good. These drugs have been linked to suicide, violent behavior, liver damage, and more. It’s one thing when someone makes a conscious choice to seek help through antidepressants. But it’s another thing entirely when another life is put in danger.
If you’re pregnant and are currently taking a class of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, you could be putting your baby at risk for miscarriage and birth defects.
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, research shows that taking antidepressants during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of miscarriage. How big is the risk? A shocking 68% increase overall.
Currently, lawsuits are underway against the makers of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) from families with children born with birth defects linked to these drugs. Some of the most popular SSRIs are Prozac, Depakote, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, and Zoloft.
These antidepressants remain popular choices among mainstream doctors though they’ve been linked to serious birth defects such as spina bifida, neural tube, heart, lung, and cranial defects.
GlaxoSmithKline under fire.
Recently an American family was awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages due to birth defects linked to the antidepressant Paxil. The mother took the prescribed drug while pregnant and her child was born with heart defects. A Philadelphia jury agreed with the mother that the SSRI drug was the cause of the injury. The jury also found that Glaxo was negligent in their duty to warn her of the risks involved with taking Paxil while pregnant.
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil, claimed a lack of scientific evidence to support the jury’s findings that the drug was a factual cause of the condition.
Glaxo has also been involved in other lawsuits over claims that Paxil causes violent and suicidal behavior in young people. The claims where settled and one case is under appeal.
There’s no doubt that depression is a serious condition. It wreaks havoc on the immune system, the metabolic system, and just about every other organ system in the body. Expectant mothers prescribed these drugs need to have a serious talk with their doctor not only about what these drugs could be doing to them, but also about the possible side effects SSRIs can have on their unborn child. In many cases, a safer alternative treatment may be a preferred choice.