Posted by Deborah Pujoue on December 9, 2011
Quite some time ago, various studies revealed Celexa and other antidepressant medications’ links to developmental disorders like autism in babies whose mothers took the drugs during and after pregnancy. Now a new study is confirming those findings.
First of all, let me start by saying that there are some studies that show that treating mothers with severe depression during pregnancy is necessary to the well-being of their babies, and I agree. However, it is what the women are treated with that concerns me. The problem is that both doctors and pregnant women tend to believe that it is only through prescription drugs like Celexa that full treatment can be effective. Because of this outrageous belief, antidepressant use has skyrocketed, and unfortunately so has incidents of babies being born with birth defects, developmental disorders and autism.
This new study, which was conducted by researchers with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, decided to center its focus on “the pre- and postnatal effects of laboratory rats after exposure to the SSRI Celexa (citalopram).” The findings confirmed current research that linked SSRI drug use to developmental disorders like autism. The researchers also made it a point to note that SSRIs also cause “significant changes in brain development.”
Some of the birth defects that have been previously linked (now confirmed) to SSRI medications like Celexa, Lexapro and Zoloft include neural tube defects, PPHN and heart, brain and lung defects. This information has forced many antidepressant medications to carry direct warnings to that effect on the labels, yet doctors still prescribe it to pregnant women. In the end, the authors of this new Mississippi study are warning women about the real risks involved in taking SSRI antidepressants while pregnant.
“These findings indicate … that fetal/infant exposure to SSRIs should be examined in humans, particularly those with developmental dysfunction, such as autism,” the authors state.
In fact, in a recent statement to the press, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said, “These studies will help to balance the mental health needs of pregnant mothers with possible increased risk to their offspring.”