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News Archives 5241-5260
Number Title Post Date
5241 Fears over fabricated research data 14/01/2012 13:06:50
5242 Mechanisms of Aluminum Adjuvant Toxicity and Autoimmunity in Pediatric Populations 14/01/2012 13:08:21
5243 Mental scores decline precipitously at 30 months after anthrax vaccine, but CDC spins study to say vaccine safe 14/01/2012 13:09:51
5244 Compensation for GlaxoSmithKline swine flu vaccine victims 14/01/2012 13:12:35
5245 London Metropolitan Police assault MP's researcher (Video) 14/01/2012 13:13:56
5246 UK Police database abuse is endemic 16/01/2012 13:45:06
5247 #spartacusstories - Disabled UK Reform 16/01/2012 13:48:04
5248 Antidepressants more than double Pulmonary Hypertension risk in infants 16/01/2012 13:50:48
5249 Persistence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Rhesus Macaques following Antibiotic Treatment of Disseminated Infection 16/01/2012 13:54:01
5250 No magic bullet on the flu: pharmaceutical industry cons the public 16/01/2012 13:55:53
5251 Satellite engineer loses use of legs four days after taking Tamiflu 16/01/2012 14:08:44
5252 Thousands struck down by widely prescribed swine flu drug Roche Tamiflu 16/01/2012 14:12:19
5253 The spectrum of ASIA induced by Adjuvants [vaccines] 16/01/2012 14:15:44
5254 WHO scandal: India announces polio vaccines are paralysing children 16/01/2012 14:21:42
5255 Illness as 'Deviance', Strategies for Getting The Sick 'Back to Work' 23/01/2012 16:35:49
5256 Cameron is the David Brent of welfare reform 23/01/2012 16:38:50
5257 Man in coma loses benefits as ATOS classifies him fit for work 23/01/2012 16:40:50
5258 Anger at Bent Britain Tories over lobbying whitewash 23/01/2012 16:42:10
5259 Itís time to end the failed war on drugs 23/01/2012 16:43:48
5260 Sunshine Law Requires Drug Companies to Report $$ to Doctors 23/01/2012 16:45:32

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Antidepressants more than double Pulmonary Hypertension risk in infants
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January 13, 2012, 4:27 pm

Antidepressant Use Linked to Increased Pulmonary Hypertension Risk in Infants

A study published in the British Medical Journal this week provides stronger evidence that taking some antidepressants during pregnancy doubles the risk of a baby developing pulmonary hypertension. Researchers have long suspected a link between the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, and the condition, but previous studies have been small and inconclusive (with results ranging from there being no link to a six times greater risk).

This research, based on 1.6 million births in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden from 1996 to 2007, showed that among women using SSRIs, the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension for infants more than doubled (particularly for use late in pregnancy). It’s still a small risk: 3 in 1000 births, as opposed to 1.2 per 1000 births overall. But it’s a small risk of a serious problem.

Pulmonary hypertension, Dr. Juliette Madan, a pediatrician at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center explained, is diagnosed when an infant struggles to get enough oxygen into her lungs, and therefore into her bloodstream. The condition can be deadly, although Dr. Madan said that it’s usually treatable — with possible lifelong consequences.

But other research suggests that untreated depression during pregnancy has its own risks, including pre-term birth and low birth weight. Given that, how should a pregnant woman and her doctor weigh the competing risks?

The answer to that may depend on whom you’re talking to. Dr. Madan, who works in her hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, said that from her perspective, some obstetricians may have less experience with the neonatal risks. “Their focus is the health of their patient for nine months,” she told me. Some women have no choice but to take medications during their pregnancy, but she worries that women who could possibly do something different aren’t getting enough information.

Dr. Ariela Frieder, a psychiatrist at Montefiore Medical Center who specializes in treating pregnant and postpartum women, has never had a patient whose infant was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. “I think this is a very good study,” she said, “but the problem is always that you cannot separate the risks of the severe depression itself with the risks of the medication. And the risks here are still small. Women who have lived with severe depression know how hard it is to live with.”

Dr. Frieder believes that her patients are the ones most capable of assessing the risks and benefits related to their own conditions. This work will affect how she counsels her patients, but not what she recommends. “You are always going to try to treat them first with psychotherapy,” she said. “But if they are severely depressed, they are going to need medication.”

The debate — internal and external — over the use of antidepressants during pregnancy has been around as long as antidepressants have been available, with research changing over time. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer,” Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, the lead author of a joint report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists told The New York Times in 2009, and that advice still stands. No generalizations apply. Treatment decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis.

A case-by-case basis that’s a new struggle for every patient, every time.

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