A New Epidemic: Antidepressants During Pregnancy

July, 9, 2012 | 7 Comments


  1. Dr Urato has identified the same problem that exists with the use of psychotropics in the military, with children and indeed, with the public in general i.e. the apparently complete lack of informed consent or allowing informed refusal. This is, at the very least, medical battery defined as the intentional violation of a patient’s rights to direct his or her medical treatment and occurs when a patient is treated without informed consent. The excuse given in psychiatry is that if warned of all the dangers, the patient might not take the drug and thereby risk suicide. The tortuous reasoning and paternalism in this argument defies belief. Is that not the point? That the patient be allowed to decide, without coercion? I will continue to advocate for the absolute requirement that before any treatment, including medication, a discussion take place outlining all of the potential problems, that this discussion be recorded and a form signed after the patient has been given time to reflect- just as is expected and required before surgery. The only exception, of course, would be truly emergent situations. This would mean that physicians prepared to prescribe would have to remain up to date on the latest valid findings with respect to effects and adverse reactions. In the meantime, medical ethics appear to be in need of some serious overhaul.

  2. Dr. Urato is correct when he observes the prescription of dangerous psychiatric drugs to pregnant women is justified by again waving the bloody shirt of suicide, supposedly prevented by antidepressants — a highly questionable assumption.

    That pregnant women suffer sometimes from “depression” is true. This is often due to social circumstances, lack of familial support, isolation, and worries for the future. A more effective and kinder treatment is getting the woman involved in a local support group, which need cost nothing, provides a supportive social network, and can improve general quality of life.

  3. I will never forget one day picking up my prescription for liquid paroxatine and I noticed the bottle had been opened so I went back to query this as I was a little concerned it may have been tampered with, the pharmacist told me they had to take some out of the bottle in an emergency for a new born baby who was withdrawing from the drug. It shocked me and I couldn’t believe that a new born baby had to be weaned off of paroxatine. What an awful thought to think of a new born baby going through that withdrawrel, it really saddened me. They dont tell you that in the information leaflet.

  4. I can tell you the long term effects and I have the pathologists report to prove it. Excessive neurogenesis in the hippocampus and calcification of the basal ganglia. In not one, but two separate babies. Yet the “expert” studying these brains, Dr. Hannah Kinney from Harvard Medical School refuses to publish these findings.

  5. Back to basics.
    The biggest con in the history of ‘medicine.’

    The drug, ssri, saved you from suicide, when you were not suicidal in the first place. This is the monolithic, debased, stance they take.

    It is dangerous, back to front logic.

    ‘Medicine’. This is a term that should not be used with regard to anti-ds. Heroin and Cannabis and all the other street drugs cause havoc with people’s lives and ssris are a parallel drug, on prescription, which have the same mind-bending, acute withdrawal properties which can lead to sudden, unpredictable death.

    How many people in the pharmaceutical industry have even thought about how many people they have murdered.
    Babies and children, too.

    These people do not think, the ones that do think conspire to deceive, and they all haven’t even swallowed an ssri.

  6. Do you think there is any role for old fashioned anti-histamines in pregnancy as anxiolytics?

    For example, if a woman is taking SSRIs and withdrawal might make her feel worse, in theory this might be prevented with old fashioned antihistamines – which are generally supposed to be pregnancy safe (and are used in vomiting due to pregnancy, sometimes). .

    Self-management and pregnancy–safe interventions for panic, phobia and other anxiety-disorders might include over-the-counter (OTC) ‘SSRI’ antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Volume 112, Issue 4, page 323, October 2005

    This relates to the story of how SSRIs were developed, which I got from Healy’s work and confirmed in discussion with a colleague of Arvid Carlssen.


    • Bruce

      There is one problem with this – there is convincing evidence that antihistamines that inhibit serotonin reuptake cause birth defects and it may be the only reason doxylamine is not conclusively linked to birth defects at the moment is because when used for morning sickness it is started after the risk period is over.

      See Persaud and Healy 2012

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