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As Antidepressant Warnings Toughened, Teen Suicide Attempts Rose: Study

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Teen suicide attempts rose nearly 22 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about dangers of antidepressants, a new study finds. In 2003, the FDA mandated a "black box" warning – the most serious type of warning in prescription drug labeling – on popular antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), signaling a possible risk of suicidal thoughts among children and teens. Examples of these drugs include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. Following the warnings, antidepressant prescriptions for young people fell by more than a fifth. At the same time, suicide attempts rose, possibly because depression was being undertreated, according to background information in the study. "We found a substantial reduction in use of antidepressants in youth, and also in adults – who were not targeted by the ... Read more

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Antidepressants in Pregnancy Won't Harm Baby's Heart, Study Suggests

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – Antidepressants taken during the first three months of pregnancy don't appear to increase the risk of heart defects in babies, new research suggests. However, this latest study contradicts previous research that found that taking antidepressants in pregnancy can be risky. The question is an important one because depression is common in pregnancy. It's diagnosed in 10 percent to 20 percent of pregnant women, and up to 13 percent of women take antidepressants while pregnant, according to the researchers. "The most critical period in the development of an embryo or in the growth of a particular organ is during the time of most rapid cell division," said Krista Huybrechts, lead study author and epidemiologist at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston. So, it is in the first three months of pregnancy that the risk for developing major malformations is ... Read more

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Weight Gain From Antidepressants Is Minimal, Study Suggests

Posted 5 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 5, 2014 – While it has long been known that some antidepressants can help spur weight gain, a new study finds that the actual amount gained is usually small. "This study was motivated in the first place by the number of patients who have asked me if their medicine is going to make them gain weight," said study co-author Dr. Roy Perlis, director of Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics, in Boston. "It's the most common question I get when prescribing any medication, frankly," he said. "But most antidepressant studies have been short term, looking at just a few months of treatment. So I wanted to look at it for a longer period of time," Perlis explained. "I think our findings should be reassuring to patients. Yes, antidepressants can lead in some cases to small amounts of weight gain, that's true. And we need to pay attention to it, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Amitriptyline, Sertraline, Effexor XR, Bupropion, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Wellbutrin XL, Mirtazapine, Elavil, Remeron

Could Certain Antidepressants Slow Alzheimer's?

Posted 14 May 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – Preliminary research suggests that the commonly used antidepressant Celexa, and perhaps other drugs in its class, may temporarily lower levels of a protein that clogs the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. It's too early to know if the medication – or the drugs that are similar to it – could play a role in the prevention of the devastating brain-robbing disease. The authors of the new study only looked at the effects of a large dose of the drug for less than two days, and only healthy younger people took part in the research. There's another important caveat: Previous efforts to reduce the levels of the protein, known as beta amyloid, haven't helped patients fend off Alzheimer's. And Celexa can cause some potentially serious side effects. Still, "this is the first step in trying to move toward a preventive treatment," said study author Dr. Yvette ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Alzheimer's Disease, Paroxetine, Luvox, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Pexeva, Brisdelle, Prozac Weekly

Higher Doses of Antidepressants Linked to Suicidal Behavior in Young Patients: Study

Posted 28 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 – When prescribing antidepressants for teens and young adults, doctors should not start with high doses of the drugs because it might raise the risk of suicidal behavior, new research suggests. The study, which was published online April 28 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that younger patients who began treatment with higher-than-recommended doses of antidepressants were more than twice as likely to try to harm themselves as those who were initially treated with the same drugs at lower, recommended doses. "If I were a parent, I definitely wouldn't want my child to start on a higher dose of these drugs," said study author Dr. Matthew Miller, associate director of the Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The research is likely to inform an ongoing debate in psychiatry – whether or not it's safe to prescribe ... Read more

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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

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR

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

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Autism, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Pexeva, Brisdelle

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

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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

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Autism, Brintellix, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Pexeva, Brisdelle

'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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Most Medications OK During Breast-Feeding, Report Says

Posted 26 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 26 – Most breast-feeding moms can safely take the medications and vaccines they need, without fear they'll harm a nursing infant, according to a new report from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. The report, from the American Academy of Pediatrics in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, describes proposed changes to drug labels. The new labels would replace the current "Nursing Mothers" section with a heading called "Lactation," which would give much more detailed information about a drug's transfer to breast milk and potential to harm a breast-fed baby. The proposed changes are part of a push by the FDA to require drug makers to study how medications may affect breast-feeding and to better communicate that information to women and their doctors. "Because we know that breast-feeding has both developmental and health benefits for the mom and the ... 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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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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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

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Citalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Paxil CR, Fluvoxamine, Sarafem, Luvox CR, Pexeva, Prozac Weekly, Rapiflux, Selfemra

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