A number of studies have linked certain SSRIs to birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Celexa is a SSRI typically prescribed as an antidepressant, but has been shown to carry risks when taken by women who are pregnant.
Many risks of anti-depressants are relatively well-known and publicized. One of the most common side effects of anti-depressants occurs when expectant mothers take them. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) have a very high risk of resulting in birth defects in a newborn, reports the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institute for Health (NIH).
When the antidepressant drug Paxil hit the consumer market in the early 1990s, it was hailed by the medical world as a wonder drug, able to relieve even the most severe cases of mental depression. Like most other antidepressants, Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). There have been widely-publicized side effects about SSRIs for the patient who takes them. However, not as much has been published about the effects SSRIs can have on babies born to women who are taking them.
A report first published last October by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health found that medication taken to treat hyperthyroidism in pregnant women led to birth defects. The report was based on a study which examined more than 815,000 children born between 1996 and 2008. Those who were exposed to hyperthyroid medication early in the pregnancy were more likely to experience birth defects.
Several years ago reports were released regarding antidepressant medications and the link to birth defects. In 2009, noted by WebMD, a study reported that women who take antidepressants during pregnancy may risk that their baby will have a heart defect. And the risk of the baby being born with a defect is greater when the used antidepressant is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
Around the world, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (often called SSRIs) are some of the most commonly prescribed depression medications. In the United States, one of the most popular SSRIs given to patients with depression is Zoloft, which has been linked to dangerous birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. A new study from the British Medical Journal is the latest authority to lend credence to the risks posed by antidepressants.
Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane and one of the most effective medications for acne, is reported to cause severe birth defects to an exposed fetus. Because of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration created the computer-based risk management program iPledge, requiring women to review educational materials, complete tests and pledge to use two forms of birth control prior to using the drug.
Recently, the FDA has approved the return of a prescription medicine used to treat morning sickness during pregnancy that was taken off the market about 30 years ago after leading to hundreds of lawsuits that claimed it led to birth defects.
In 1983, the FDA approved Depakote to treat certain issues with the central nervous system. It has successfully treated or controlled such disorders as epileptic seizures and episodes of manic or bipolar behavior. This medicine can also be prescribed for migraine headaches. It is primarily used as a mood stabilizer and anti-convulsant, which has also provided relief for certain off label conditions.