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Published by: Kent Quezon on Oct 11, 2012
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Antidepressant use during pregnancy linkedto increased risk of autism
Monday, July 18, 2011 by: T.M. Hartle(NaturalNews) Several studies have implicated antidepressant use during pregnancywith short term complications in newborns, autism, and other birth defects. A studypublished in the Archives of General Psychology in July 2011 uncovered a connectionbetween antidepressant use during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism.Increases in autism have coincided with increased use of antidepressants. According toa report in US News, the use of antidepressants in the U.S. has doubled between 1996and 2005. This dramatic rise in antidepressant use raises questions about the safety of these drugs during pregnancy. The FDA classifies SSRI (antidepressants) as class Cdrugs, which means they have not been proven safe or unsafe for use in pregnancy.New research is exposing these drugs as potentially unsafe during pregnancy despitethe FDA classification.The recent study in the Archives of General Psychology raises questions about thesafety of these drugs in pregnancy and about the fact that a discussion about alternativetreatments for pregnant women should be initiated. This study evaluated nearly 1800children including 298 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchersfound that the children whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants one year prior to birthhad double the incidence of autism. Researchers concluded that prenatalantidepressant exposure particularly in the first trimester causes a modest increase inautism risk. Due to safety concerns some medical professionals support alternativetreatments for pregnant women that do not pose risks to the unborn child.Dr. Mason Turner, Assistant Director of Regional Mental Health for Kaiser, stated thatalternatives to medication should be discussed with pregnant women. He suggested theuse of stress reduction techniques, support groups, psychotherapy, reducing workhours, and discussing familial support. Many women express concerns over takingmedication during pregnancy and physicians must offer women alternatives tomedication particularly when that medication has not been proven safe for use inpregnancy. According to The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG),several short-term complications have been seen in newborns due to SSRI exposure in-utero.The ACOG issued a press release on antidepressant use in pregnancy detailing someconcerning complications seen in newborns. "Exposure to SSRIs late in pregnancy hasbeen associated with short-term complications in newborns including jitteriness, mildrespiratory distress, excessively rapid respiration, weak cry, poor muscle tone, andadmission to the neonatal intensive care unit." The ACOG also mentions anunpublished study that found exposure to a common antidepressant during the firsttrimester associated with an increased risk of congenital heart malformations. In light of 
all the risks associated with antidepressant use in pregnancy women should seek outalternative forms of treatment where appropriate.Dr. James Gordon, a Psychiatrist and founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine,has found success treating depression for over 35 years using diet, exercise andmeditation. Dr Gordon has published a study on the efficacy of his program. The studyinvolved 139 children from Kosovo suffering from post-traumatic stress. After completing 10 weeks of the program, the children suffering from PTSD went from 88percent to 38 percent. Studies highlighting the efficacy of drug-free treatments offer pregnant women safer alternatives in treating depression. Pregnant women should beinformed about the treatment options available for depression and should discuss themwith their health practitioner.source:http://www.naturalnews.com/033023_antidepressants_autism.html#ixzz21Y6yMzNM
Submitted by:Roucheal Angeli M. Besa
Submitted to:Catherine Cantalejo, RN MAN

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