Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Use of Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Alter Brain Development of Offspring, New Study Indicates

Monday, September 11th, 2023

Women taking antidepressants who are, or are planning to become, pregnant can discuss these risks with their physicians.


Citizens Commission on Human Rights, National Affairs Office

WASHINGTON, DC, September 7, 2023 — A new study indicates that expectant mothers’ use of antidepressants during pregnancy may negatively affect the brain development of their children, adding to the medical literature that has linked selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy to negative outcomes in offspring. SSRIs are the most frequently prescribed antidepressant for maternal depression.

Using brain imaging, researchers in the Netherlands measured the impact on the brain volume of 3,198 children whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants before or during pregnancy. The brain imaging was performed three times between the children’s ages of 7 to 15 and was compared to brain imaging of a control group of children whose mothers did not take antidepressants.

The results, reported in JAMA Psychiatry, indicated that, “compared with nonexposed controls, children prenatally exposed to SSRIs had less cerebral gray matter…which persisted up to 15 years of age,” the final age at which brain imaging was done in this study. Gray matter in the brain plays a significant role in mental functions, memory, emotions and movement. In the children exposed to SSRIs prenatally, negative effects were also observed in other brain tissues and brain structures the researchers had selected for examination. These effects did not last beyond early adolescence.

Previous research has linked SSRI antidepressants to many adverse effects during pregnancy and after birth.

SSRIs taken during the embryonic stage of development in pregnancy increases the risk of certain birth defects.  Expectant mothers using SSRIs incur an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and their newborns being admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.

Tapering and discontinuation of SSRIs before and during the early phase of pregnancy was advised by researchers who studied the withdrawal symptoms experienced by newborns. The symptoms of neonatal withdrawal syndrome include hypoglycemia, tremors, rapid breathing, and respiratory distress in newborns.

SSRI-exposed infants were found to have more impaired neurological functioning over the month following birth than non-exposed infants, including significantly poorer quality of movement, more signs of central nervous system stress, and lower self-regulation.

Taking SSRIs during pregnancy increases the risk of speech/language problems in offspring and has been linked to developmental delays.  

More fundamentally, a landmark 2022 study questioned the prescribing of antidepressants at all, after finding the common reason for taking them – to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain – had no scientific basis. The study investigated whether evidence supported the theory that a low level of the brain chemical serotonin causes depression.

“The serotonin theory of depression has been one of the most influential and extensively researched biological theories of the origins of depression,” the researchers wrote. “Our study shows that this view is not supported by scientific evidence. It also calls into question the basis for the use of antidepressants.”

Women taking antidepressants who are, or are planning to become, pregnant are encouraged to discuss these risks with their physicians.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or change the dose of an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a physician because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) continues to raise public awareness of the risks of serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, so that consumers and their physicians can make fully informed decisions about starting or stopping the drugs.

CCHR also recommends a complete physical examination with lab tests, nutritional and allergy screenings, and a review of all current medications to identify any physical causes of depression or other unwanted mental and behavioral symptoms, which might otherwise be misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated as a psychiatric disorder.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was co-founded in 1969 by members of the Church of Scientology and the late psychiatrist and humanitarian Thomas Szasz, M.D., recognized by many academics as modern psychiatry’s most authoritative critic, to eradicate abuses and restore human rights and dignity to the field of mental health. CCHR has been instrumental in obtaining 228 laws against psychiatric abuse and violations of human rights worldwide.

The CCHR National Affairs Office in Washington, DC, has advocated for mental health rights and protections at the state and federal level. The CCHR traveling exhibit, which has toured hundreds of major cities worldwide to educate people on the history to the present day of abusive and racist psychiatric practices, has been displayed at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, and at other locations.

Anne Goedeke
Citizens Commission on Human Rights, National Affairs Office

Paxil, the Antidepressant from Hell

Monday, March 2nd, 2020
New research using a novel approach to test for harmful drug side effects is showing that the common antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat) interferes with the growth of brain synapses (connection points between neurons), and thus can cause developmental neurotoxicity — which means that it harms children’s developing brains.

Prior to this research the authors believe there were no studies that explored the consequences of long-term exposure of the developing brain to SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

As a result of this research the authors basically believe that paroxetine should not be given to pregnant women given the potential for damage to the developing brain of a fetus.

We think such damage extends far beyond the period of pregnancy, and this psychiatric drug should not be given to any child or adult.

Of course, such psychiatric drugs can only be prescribed after a diagnosis of some mental disorder. Unlike diagnoses for real medical conditions, psychiatrists do not have blood tests or any other clinical tests to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness — the diagnosis is purely an opinion. Thus, such diagnoses are fraudulent and abusive.

Anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder has the right to full informed consent before any treatment is undertaken.

Further, if a psychiatrist asserts that your mental condition is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain or is a neurobiological disorder, you have the right to ask for the lab test or other test to prove the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Safe and effective medical treatments for mental difficulties are often kept buried. The fact is, there are many medical conditions that when undetected and untreated can appear as “psychiatric symptoms.” The psychiatric pharmaceutical industry is making a killing — $84 billion per year — based on people being labeled with mental disorders that are not founded on science or medicine, but on marketing campaigns designed to sell drugs.

Because the general public has been so misled by the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries about the actual dangers of psychotropic drugs, CCHR has created the psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

We already know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that antidepressants such as paroxetine can cause suicidal thinking and behavior in children and young adults. Overall the problems and risks associated with paroxetine appear to make it the least safe of all SSRIs.

This new research suggests it is even more harmful than originally thought. Contact your Federal and State Legislators and tell them what you think about this, and ask them to take steps to abolish government funding for psychiatric drugs.
Drug causes suicidal thoughts.