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Study- Anti-Depressants and Autism

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susan_harr6 years ago

A new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that rats given the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa) during pregnancy gave birth to pups that exhibited behaviors characteristic of autism spectrum disorders.

SSRIs and Birth Defects

“Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most widely used drugs in psychiatry,” PNAS.

SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are class of drugs mainly used for treating clinical depression. They may also be prescribed for patients with anxiety disorders, panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Drugs in this class have been linked to various physical defects in children whose mothers who took the drugs while pregnant or breastfeeding. The new study findings suggest that taking SSRIs during pregnancy might also contribute to a child’s risk of neurological and developmental disorders—namely autism.

About the Celexa Study

  • The researchers treated more than 200 rats with the SSRI citalopram (Celexa) during key stages of development.
  • Most rats received treatment for two weeks, beginning eight days post birth (a developmental period equivalent to the third trimester and early infancy in humans.)
  • Findings: Connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain showed stunted growth and degeneration.
  • The rats fed Celexa were uninterested in play when young and displayed poor social behaviors as adults; they also showed abnormal responses to changes in their environment (two characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorders).
  • According to the National Institutes of Health, the abnormalities were more pronounced in male than female rats, just as autism affects 3-4 times more boys than girls.
Contact an Experienced SSRI Attorney

Thomas J. Henry are leaders in the area of drug and product liability litigation. Our Defective Drug and Products Division have extensive knowledge and resources in order to represent our clients efficiently and aggressively. The Defective Drug and Products Division represent a multitude of people who are battling against manufacturers of medical devices and/ or defective pharmaceuticals.

If you or a loved one have taken an SSRI and have developed serious side effects or injuries from the use of these drugs, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.


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