Posts Tagged ‘side effects’

Lexapro has a dramatic effect on new borns of unknowing mothers

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

San Diego, CA: For pregnant women, a main concern is taking precautions to ensure their babies have as little risk as possible of having newborn birth defects. For mothers taking antidepressants, however, the risk of birth defects may seem unclear. Studies have linked antidepressants such as Lexapro to birth defects, and such Lexapro side effects in children could possibly be serious. A recent study has even suggested that Lexapro birth defects could include a risk of autism.

The study, which is published online in the Archives of General Psychiatry (07/04/11) involved selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressant that includes Lexapro. According to researchers, children who were exposed to SSRI medications prior to birth were at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Researchers found that when women used an SSRI in the 12 months prior to giving birth, the infant was twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. When the mother took the SSRI during the first trimester of pregnancy, the infant was four times as likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

These findings led researchers to conclude, “Although the number of children exposed prenatally to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in this population was low, results suggest that exposure, especially during the first trimester, may modestly increase the risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder].” They went on to note that the potential risks of using an SSRI while pregnant must be balanced against the risks of having untreated depression.

A similar result was not found with other types of antidepressants, although very few women in the study used antidepressants that were not SSRIs. Among the SSRIs noted in the study were Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

The study does not prove that use of SSRI medications while pregnant causes autism, just that there is an association between the two. Having untreated depression while pregnant can also have health consequences for the expectant mother and her newborn.

In addition to autism, previous studies have suggested a link between the use of SSRIs, such as Lexapro, while pregnant and a risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, and a link between SSRIs and craniosynostosis.

[Posted by Trent Garmon, authored by: Heidi Turner, Lawyers & Settlements]

Topamax

Monday, August 1st, 2011

New Brunswick, NJ: While increasing competition and the stagnant economy certainly played a role, continued fallout from the discovery of Topamax side effects likely also contributed to the decline in sales experienced by Johnson & Johnson during the second quarter of 2011.

According to Reuters, global sales of the company’s drugs rose significantly during the first quarter, encouraging the pharmaceutical firm that it was moving on from its recent history of recalls and side effects for drugs such as Risperdal and Topamax.

Topamax (topiramate) is typically used by itself or with other medications as a means of treating specific types of seizures endured by people suffering from epilepsy, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

However, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, studies have indicated that Topamax poses a number of potential risks when taken during pregnancy, particularly an increased risk for birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate.

According to the FDA’s Web site, the federal agency notified healthcare professionals last March about the increased birth defects risks, and placed the seizure medication in Pregnancy Category D, meaning there is evidence linking the drug to potential birth defects risks, but the medication’s benefits may still make it useful for pregnant women in certain situations.

Still, the agency said that it was important for pregnant women to consult their doctor prior to taking Topamax.

“Before starting topiramate, pregnant women and women of childbearing potential should discuss other treatment options with their health care professional,” the FDA said on its Web site.

With the evidence of Topamax birth defects still lingering, Johnson & Johnson’s second quarter net income dropped 20 percent to $2.78 billion, down from $3.45 billion the year prior, according to Bloomberg.

In addition to Topamax side effects, Johnson & Johnson has been forced to issue a number of product recalls in recent months, including arterial stents and over-the-counter medications such as Motrin and Tylenol, which were recalled due to musty odors emanating from their bottles.

Additionally, the company has taken considerable heat over hip replacement products manufactured by its DePuy unit, which have been linked to serious side effects such as metal contamination in the blood of patients. The unit recalled the devices, but still faces a number of lawsuits relating to them.

[by Charles Benson – Lawyers & Settlements]

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