A new study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology has found that children of women treated for depression with any of a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) while pregnant were more likely to develop brain malformations than children of mothers with no history of depression.
SSRIs include almost all of today’s major antidepression medications, including Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 234 million prescriptions were written for Americans in 2010, including for between 7 percent and 13 percent of all pregnant women.
The study found that a brain malformation called Chiari type 1 was found in 18 percent of the children whose mothers took SSRIs during pregnancy compared to only 3 percent in children whose mothers had no history of depression.
In Chiari type 1, brain tissue in the cerebellum squeezes out into the spinal canal. It is indicated by symptoms of dizziness, headaches and balance and coordination problems that may require surgery. Other indications are irritability when being fed, excessive drooling, a weak cry, trouble gaining weight, weakness of the arms and developmental delays.
Children with Chiari type 1 often fall down a lot, have trouble grasping items, have poor hand-eye coordination and other issues.
Numerous studies have linked children born with autism spectrum disorders to women taking SSRIs during the first trimester. And SSRIs are a common denominator in seemingly every mass school shooting taking place.
In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration issued a black box warning on SSRIs because of “increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months).”