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Primary Care Providers May Balk at Giving Teens Antidepressants

Posted 15 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 – Primary health care providers are reluctant to prescribe antidepressants for their teenaged patients, even in cases of severe depression, a new study suggests. The researchers found that those who were more knowledgeable about depression – and especially those who could consult with an on-site mental health expert – were more likely to prescribe antidepressants for depressed teens. The study included 58 pediatric primary care providers. Most were doctors, but some were nurse practitioners or other professionals. The study participants were given hypothetical situations describing two 15-year-old girls with depression. One girl met the criteria for moderate depression and the other for severe depression, but neither was suicidal. The participants were asked to make an initial treatment recommendation for each of the girls. Only one-quarter of them said they ... Read more

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Antidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Risk of Lung Disorder in Babies

Posted 15 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2014 – Taking certain antidepressants in late pregnancy more than doubles the odds of a lung complication in newborns, a new review says. Fortunately, the study also found that the absolute risk of the complication – known as persistent pulmonary hypertension – was still low, affecting about 3.5 out of every 1,000 births, according to study author Dr. Sophie Grigoriadis. "Women taking these medications in pregnancy should not panic. The risk is still quite low. It should be one of the factors you consider when you decide to use medications, but it has to be balanced with the potential problems that can occur if you don't treat depression," said Grigoriadis, head of the Women's Mood and Anxiety Clinic: Reproductive Transitions at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, in Toronto. Deciding how to treat depression during pregnancy can be difficult, the study noted. The ... Read more

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Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Not Linked to Autism

Posted 18 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2013 – Despite some concerns to the contrary, children whose moms used antidepressants during pregnancy do not appear to be at increased risk of autism, a large new Danish study suggests. The results, published Dec. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer some reassurance, experts said. There have been some hints that antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could be linked to autism. SSRIs are the "first-line" drug against depression, and include medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and paroxetine (Paxil). In one recent U.S. study, mothers' SSRI use during pregnancy was tied to a twofold increase in the odds that her child would have autism. A Swedish study saw a similar pattern, though the risk linked to the drugs was smaller. But both studies included only small numbers of ... Read more

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Exercise Might Lift Libido in Women on Antidepressants

Posted 12 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 – Exercise might help treat sexual problems in women taking antidepressants, especially if their workouts occur right before sex, new research reveals. The study included 52 women who had reduced desire and other sexual side effects while taking antidepressants. For the first three weeks of the study, the women did not exercise. They were then divided into two groups for the next three weeks, with one group assigned to exercise immediately before sex and the other group assigned to exercise in a way that was not timed to having sex. The researchers then reversed the two groups for another three weeks. Having a regular exercise routine improved orgasm in all the women, the findings showed. But doing 30 minutes of exercise immediately before sex led to a significant boost in libido and overall improvements in sexual functioning, according to the study, which was ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Sexual Dysfunction, SSRI Induced, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Brintellix, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Pexeva, Brisdelle, Vortioxetine

Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Not Raise Autism Risk

Posted 25 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 – Children of mothers who take a widely used class of antidepressants during pregnancy are not at increased risk for autism, a large new study finds. Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and social skills, is estimated to affect about one in 88 children in the United States. Previous research has suggested that women who take antidepressants during pregnancy are up to five times more likely to have children with autism. This study focused on antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine). Researchers followed more than 600,000 Danish children born between 1996 and 2006. Initial results showed an almost 2 percent risk of having a child with autism for pregnant women who took SSRIs during their pregnancy, compared with 1.5 percent for those who did not. However, ... Read more

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'Exposure Therapy' Along With Antidepressants May Help With OCD

Posted 11 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 – New research suggests that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder do better when they combine intensive "exposure therapy" with an antidepressant rather than taking a common two-drug combination. There are caveats, however: The kind of exposure therapy used in the study required patients to see therapists twice a week, which can be expensive; some obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients simply refuse to engage in this kind of therapy; and it's not clear what happens to patients in the long term. Still, OCD patients who take antidepressants and still have symptoms should try exposure therapy before taking the medications with a drug known as risperidone, said study lead author Dr. Helen Blair Simpson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. "If risperidone is tried, clinicians should know that it is likely to help only a small subset, ... Read more

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7 out of 10 Americans Take a Prescription Drug: Study

Posted 27 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 27 – Nearly 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs, with antibiotics, antidepressants and painkillers being the most widely used, according to a new study. Researchers also found that more than half of patients take two prescription drugs, while 20 percent take five or more prescription medications. One other key finding: "As you get older you tend to get more prescriptions, and women tend to get more prescriptions than men," study author Dr. Jennifer St. Sauver, of the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, said in a Mayo news release. The findings come from an analysis of 2009 statistics from people living in Olmsted County, Minn., near the Mayo Clinic. St. Sauver believes the findings are comparable to people living elsewhere in the United States. According to the study, 17 percent of patients took antibiotics, 13 percent took ... Read more

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Two-Pronged Anxiety Treatment Aids Older Adults

Posted 27 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 27 – A combination of antidepressant therapy and counseling is an effective way to treat anxiety in older adults, a new study finds. Together, these treatments keep seniors anxiety-free for a longer time than either medication or counseling alone, according to the researchers. The investigators studied 73 people, aged 60 and older, with generalized anxiety disorder, a problem that affects about 5 percent of seniors. All the patients began the study by taking the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro) for three months. After that time, the patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group simply continued taking the antidepressant for another 16 weeks, while the second group continued taking the drug but also received 16 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy. During cognitive behavioral therapy, patients learned about the nature of anxiety, worked on ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Lexapro, Escitalopram

Antidepressants May Be Helpful for Some Heart Patients: Study

Posted 21 May 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 21 – Use of the antidepressant Lexapro appears to help prevent a potentially serious stress-related heart condition, a new study finds. The condition is known as known as "mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia." Although people with this condition may not develop noticeable symptoms, their heart muscle is not receiving adequate blood supply, according to researchers from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. However, the researchers found that people taking the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) were more than two and a half times less likely to be affected by the condition, which can be spurred by emotional stress. The study was funded by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is published in the May 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia is a serious condition, as ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Escitalopram, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Antidepressants May Hasten Bypass Recovery, Study Finds

Posted 1 May 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 1 – Depression is relatively common in patients who undergo heart bypass surgery, and a new study finds that short-term use of antidepressants may aid patients' recovery. "Depression among patients requiring or having undergone [bypass] surgery is high and can significantly impact postoperative recovery," said one expert not connected to the study, Dr. Bryan Bruno, acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In this study, a team of French researchers looked at 182 patients who started taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant two to three weeks before undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery and continued taking it for six months after the procedure. SSRIs include widely used antidepressants such as Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. In this study, patients took one 10 milligram ... Read more

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Shopping Around Brings Steep Prescription Drug Savings, Report Finds

Posted 28 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 28 – Prescription drug prices at U.S. pharmacies can vary widely, and failing to shop around could result in people overpaying by as much as $100 or more a month on average, depending on the drug, a new study finds. Researchers at Consumer Reports called more than 200 pharmacies across the United States to get retail prices (out-of-pocket costs) for a one-month supply of five popular medicines that have recently gone generic. The medicines were: the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone); the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram); the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin); the blood thinner Plavix (clopidogrel); and the asthma drug Singulair (montelukast). For a one-month supply of these drugs, there was a $749 difference between the highest- and lowest-priced stores – a more than four-fold difference, according to the study in the May issue of Consumer Reports ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Plavix, Lipitor, Escitalopram, Atorvastatin, Actos, Clopidogrel, Pioglitazone

Study: Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy May Not Affect Baby's Growth

Posted 20 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 20 – Taking antidepressants during pregnancy does not have an impact on an infant's growth during the first year of life, a new study says. Previous research suggested that depression during pregnancy could slow infant growth, but there were concerns that prescribing antidepressants to pregnant women might also hinder a baby's physical development. In this study, Northwestern University researchers found that infants born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy had a similar weight, length and head circumference over the first year as babies born to mothers who did not have depression and did not take antidepressants during pregnancy. The infants whose mothers took antidepressants were shorter at birth, but that difference vanished by the time they were 2 weeks old, the study authors reported. The investigators ... Read more

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Psychiatric Drugs More Often Prescribed in the South

Posted 1 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 – Use of psychiatric medications is most prevalent in the southern United States and least prevalent in the West, according to a new U.S. study. Although people living in the West are the least likely to use antipsychotics, antidepressants and stimulants, the Yale researchers found that the drugs' use is 40 percent higher in a large section of the South than in other parts of the country. The study authors attributed this discrepancy to variations in local access to health care and marketing efforts within the pharmaceutical industry. "The geographic patterns we identify are striking and map onto the patterns found for a host of other medical conditions and treatments, from cognitive decline to bypass surgery," Marissa King, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, said in a school news release. "Our work suggests that access to ... Read more

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Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study

Posted 30 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 – People taking certain antidepressants, including Celexa and Lexapro, may have a slightly increased risk of developing an abnormal heart beat. Researchers say the drugs, which are in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may extend the length of electrical activity in the heart, called a QT interval. A long QT interval is an indicator of abnormal heart rhythms. "For people who are taking higher doses of citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro), they should discuss these doses with their doctors," said lead researcher Dr. Roy Perlis, director of the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics in the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "They should absolutely not just stop their medicine," he added. QT interval is just one indicator of cardiac risk, so there are many other factors to consider ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Celexa, Citalopram, Escitalopram

Prenatal Antidepressants Don't Raise Fetal, Infant Death Risk: Study

Posted 2 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 – Women who take certain antidepressants while pregnant do not raise the risk of a stillbirth or death of their baby in the first year of life, according to a large new study. The findings stem from an analysis involving 30,000 women in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, who gave birth to more than 1.6 million babies, in total, between 1996 and 2007. Close to 2 percent of the women took prescription selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine), for depressive symptoms during their pregnancy. The research team, led by Dr. Olof Stephansson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, reports in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that initially women taking an SSRI for depression did seem to experience statistically higher rates of stillbirth and infant death. However, ... Read more

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