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SSRI Antidepressants Like Prozac Linked To Side Effects and Birth DefectsA new report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed a risk of bleeding associated with the combined use of antidepressant medications using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and anti-platelet therapy following a heart attack.

Popular SSRI antidepressants include:

  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Priligy (dapoxetine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Upstene (indalpine)
  • Paxil (paraxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertaline)
  • Viibryd (vilazdone)
  • Zelmid (zimelidine)

The study examined more than 27,000 patients for 10 years and examined bleeding that included hemorrhagic stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, or any other type of bleeding that was treated during a hospital stay or that involved hospitalization.

According to the LA Times, Researchers found that taking an SSRI drug combined with any anti-platelet drug was linked with a higher risk of bleeding. Combining an SSRI with aspirin increased the risk of bleeding by 42% and combining an SSRI with a two-prong anti-platelet therapy increased the risk by 57%.

SSRI antidepressants have also been linked to serious birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. Birth defects linked to these antidepressants include:

  • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Omphalocele
  • Spina Bifida
  • Club Foot
  • Vertical Septal Defects (VSD)
  • Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
  • Craniosynostosis

These birth defects have been linked to these SSRI antidepressant medication since at least 2005. The New England Journal of Medicine, in 2007, found that women taking SSRI medication during their third trimester were 6 times more likely to deliver babies born with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) than women who did not take SSRI drugs. PPHN is a lung disorder that restricts the arteries and causes the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery to rise uncontrollably.

For more information, women or expectant mothers taking SSRI medication should discuss these risks with their doctors and consult a Medication Guide that is available from the FDA website.

Read More:

[More on SSRI Antidepressant Side Effects]

[More on Dangerous Drugs]

(c) Copyright 2011 Brett Emison

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Lisa Bukachevsky
    Lisa Bukachevsky

    I gave birth to two children. My son was born in 2001, and my daughter was born in 2002. I did not take my anti-depressant medication during my pregnancies because there were no studies to prove what effects the medication would have on my children.

    During the pregnancies, my mood was stable. However, after my pregnancies, the process of re-introducing the anti-depressants was horrific. It took at least a year or more for my hormones to stablize.

    During my second pregnancy, the ant-depressant medication was re-introduced during the final week of my pregnancy in order to sircumvent what occurred during my first pregnancy. This action did not make much of a difference. However, start your medication sooner rather than later.

    The decision is yours. My children were born without any of the problems listed.

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