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1st Trimester Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism Risk
PsychCentral ^ | April 17, 2014 | Rick Nauert

Posted on 04/17/2014 6:11:13 AM PDT by Scoutmaster

A new Johns Hopkins study discovers an association between prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and developmental delays (DD) in boys.

Researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public Health found that early prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, and other disorders — increased the risk for ASD three-fold.

Common SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft).

The study of 1,000 mother-child pairs is published in the online edition of Pediatrics. In the study, investigators analyzed data from large samples of ASD and DD cases, and population-based controls.

Importantly, researchers used a uniform protocol to confirm ASD and DD diagnoses by trained clinicians using validated standardized instruments.

The study included 966 mother-child pairs from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study, a population-based case-control study based at the University of California at Davis’ MIND Institute.

The researchers broke the data into three groups: Those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), those with developmental delays (DD), and those with typical development (TD).

The children ranged in ages two to five. A majority of the children were boys — 82.5 percent in the ASD group were boys, 65.6 percent in the DD group were boys, and 85.6 percent in the TD were boys.

While the study included girls, the substantially stronger effect in boys alone suggests possible gender difference in the effect of prenatal SSRI exposure.

“We found prenatal SSRI exposure was nearly three times as likely in boys with ASD relative to typical development, with the greatest risk when exposure took place during the first trimester,” said Li-Ching Lee, Ph.D., Sc.M.

“SSRI was also elevated among boys with DD, with the strongest exposure effect in the third trimester.”

“Serotonin is critical to early brain development; thus, exposure during pregnancy to anything that influences serotonin levels can have potential effect on birth and developmental outcomes,” said the researchers.

In the U.S., the prevalence of ADS continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 68 children in the U.S. is identified with ADS, and it is almost five times more common among boys than girls.

One may question whether the increased use of SSRI in recent years is a contributor to the dramatic rise of ASD prevalence.

“This study provides further evidence that in some children, prenatal exposure to SSRIs may influence their risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D., M.P.H.

“This research also highlights the challenge for women and their physicians to balance the risks versus the benefits of taking these medications, given that a mother’s underlying mental-health conditions also may pose a risk, both to herself and her child.”

Regarding treatment, the authors note that maternal depression itself carries risks for the fetus, and the benefits of using SSRI during pregnancy should be considered carefully against the potential harm.

The researchers also note that large sample studies are needed to investigate the effects in girls with ASD.

Limitations of the study acknowledged include the difficulty in isolating SSRI effects from those of their indications for use, lack of information on SSRI dosage precluded dose-response analyses, and the relatively small sample of DD children resulted in imprecise estimates of association, which should be viewed with caution.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antidepressants; autism; depression; ssri
I'm not suggesting that FReepers with autistic children, or FReepers with family members who have autistic children, used anti-depressants. The article simply caught my eye.
1 posted on 04/17/2014 6:11:13 AM PDT by Scoutmaster
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To: Scoutmaster

I’m dumbfounded that anti-depressents would be prescribed or taken during pregnancy.


2 posted on 04/17/2014 6:13:38 AM PDT by grania
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To: Scoutmaster

It seems that ASD has many causes. This might be one.


3 posted on 04/17/2014 6:14:26 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Scoutmaster
I thought thalidomide taught us that drugs of any kind during pregnancy are a bad idea?
4 posted on 04/17/2014 6:16:18 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The best way to control opposition is to lead it ourselves." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)
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To: grania
I’m dumbfounded that anti-depressents would be prescribed or taken during pregnancy.

Same here. And when did this practice start, last month?

I can't believe no one has checked into this connection before now.

5 posted on 04/17/2014 6:17:15 AM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Scoutmaster
Leads me to wonder ...

If a woman has missed a couple of periods and she's feeling 'down' ... doesn't she think she might be pregnant and not 'depressed' ?

If she approaches her Dr., doesn't he ask if she's pregnant ?

I'm not saying this is or is not 'a' cause for autism, but merely wondering how it could happen.

6 posted on 04/17/2014 6:18:19 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: grania

Me too.


7 posted on 04/17/2014 6:20:21 AM PDT by SueRae (It isn't over. In God We Trust.)
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To: Scoutmaster

Mom told me what the doctor made her take while pregnant with me. I understand after research why am the way I am. All has been made clear. Thank You. I’m suing Mom.


8 posted on 04/17/2014 6:20:50 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: grania

Think of all the women who are already on anti depressants and don’t know they are pregnant for 6 to 8 weeks.


9 posted on 04/17/2014 6:22:48 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: grania

do you have any idea how many chemicals are now present in the body tissues of every one of us? Deliberate ingestion is just one mode.

some of these chemicals affect the developing fetus before the women even knows she is pregnant

A substance that even touches the skin is absorbed into the organs within 20 minutes, and some of the chemicals accumulate. I think it’s possible not only our air, food and drug chain but our “beauty” industry has a something to do with the epidemic of unhealthy children being born to middle and upperclass women


10 posted on 04/17/2014 6:28:35 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: CaptainK
Think of all the women who are already on antidepressents who don't know they are pregnant for 6 to 8 weeks.

A woman is suspicious she's become pregnant way before that point. A lot of those ads for other stuff on TV include "if you're pregnant or might become pregnant...." in the list of those who shouldn't take the drugs. I would've assumed such retrictions were on anti-depressents, too.

The problem with "crack babies" has been known for over a generation. Why would these other drugs be any different in those effects?

11 posted on 04/17/2014 6:29:18 AM PDT by grania
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To: Scoutmaster

Well, if women are already on antidepressants and they get pregnant, they are stuck with it. Ever seen the withdrawals from trying to come of those things?


12 posted on 04/17/2014 6:29:36 AM PDT by Seruzawa (Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast.)
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To: Scoutmaster
A new Johns Hopkins study discovers an association between prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and developmental delays (DD) in boys.

So in other words, it's like feeding your son soy, or sending him to public school?
13 posted on 04/17/2014 6:29:49 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: grania

I also wonder why someone who is depressed would intentionally get pregnant.


14 posted on 04/17/2014 6:31:40 AM PDT by utahagen
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To: Scoutmaster

Try first trimester marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, alcohol and tobacco use being linked to autism. Decadence has its consequences.


15 posted on 04/17/2014 6:32:03 AM PDT by allendale
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To: silverleaf
I think you're correct about the constant onslaught our bodies face from chemicals. I went "pure foods and environment"4 1/2 years ago. Of course pure means avoiding not all chemicals, but as many as are in your control.

So far, so good. It takes a few years to cleanse ones body, but it's worth it. JMHO

16 posted on 04/17/2014 6:32:44 AM PDT by grania
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To: silverleaf
Do you have any idea how many chemicals are now present in the body tissues of every one of us?

Why yes, I do. For instance I weigh 184 pounds; therefore there are 184 pounds of chemicals in my body.

17 posted on 04/17/2014 6:34:09 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Scoutmaster

According to studies, the water table has been polluted with birth control drugs. Why can’t the same be said for these anti-depressants? One might not even take the drugs to be exposed to them.


18 posted on 04/17/2014 6:34:13 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: grania

“A woman is suspicious she’s become pregnant way before that point.”

Some women are, some aren’t.


19 posted on 04/17/2014 6:36:58 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: grania
QUOTE: "I’m dumbfounded that anti-depressents would be prescribed or taken during pregnancy."

I'm surprised practically any drug is prescribed during pregnancy! I avoid pharmaceuticals to the utmost as I generally regard the side effects worse than the original malady.

My teeth are a permanent, un-bleachable shade of yellowish off-white because my mother took tetracyclene when she was pregnant with me. I am of the opinion that all drugs should be avoided while pregnant, unless the life of either child or mother is in jeopardy.

20 posted on 04/17/2014 6:40:30 AM PDT by jimmyray
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To: no-to-illegals
I understand after research why am the way I am. All has been made clear. Thank You. I’m suing Mom.

You know, I now understand the way I am also. I think I will sue your mom too...

21 posted on 04/17/2014 6:41:08 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: rjsimmon

My case was first, brother.


22 posted on 04/17/2014 6:44:01 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: rjsimmon

Sis, is that you?


23 posted on 04/17/2014 6:45:02 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Scoutmaster

Does this prove women who suffer from depression are linked to autism or women being treated for depression? Also, is this only SSRI drugs and not other antidepressants..who funded? New drug company?


24 posted on 04/17/2014 6:49:47 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: no-to-illegals
My case was first, brother.

But Mom said she liked me best...

25 posted on 04/17/2014 7:02:17 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: Scoutmaster

We overmedicate people with anti-depressants.

Some things are depressing. Lost your job? Relationship fell apart? Loved one died? Folks need to work through their emotions rather than suppressing them.


26 posted on 04/17/2014 7:04:55 AM PDT by Bogey78O (We had a good run. Coulda been great still.)
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To: rjsimmon

I know .... I always understood why too.


27 posted on 04/17/2014 7:16:01 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: rjsimmon
It was all those flowers you picked for Mom when we were kids. I never could compete with you. I always brought dandelions when they were about to blow away. Made one heck of a mess and I'd just snicker. Did the neighbors ever catch you picking those tulips?
28 posted on 04/17/2014 7:21:04 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: rjsimmon

I remember that one time where you picked Mom’s tulips and sent me in to give those tulips to Mom. I got a whoopin’ never forgot. You were more intelligent taking the neighbor’s tulips. I tried that once too. Had seen you do it and get away and thought the way to Mom’s heart is stealing the neighbor’s tulips. So there I went to steal the neighbor’s tulips too. But unlike you, I got caught and then another whoopin’. Never could out compete you. {{HUGS}}, I know the truth. You never stole anything. Set myself up for another whoopin’.


29 posted on 04/17/2014 7:31:05 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Scoutmaster

This would clearly NOT be a genetic cause.

If this environmental factor is a cause, there are likely other environmental factors that are also causes.


30 posted on 04/17/2014 7:32:02 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: grania

“A woman is suspicious she’s become pregnant way before that point.”

Not if she’s got PCOS.


31 posted on 04/17/2014 7:33:36 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: no-to-illegals

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...


32 posted on 04/17/2014 7:39:12 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: Raycpa
I do not know. The free abstract and paid access to the full study are available from Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
33 posted on 04/17/2014 7:39:14 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?)
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To: Scoutmaster

Who knows how long the effects of certain drugs last in the body? It is known that some side-effects outlive the desired purpose of the drug.


34 posted on 04/17/2014 7:45:05 AM PDT by Mach9
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To: grania

Some, if not most, were probably taken before the mother knew she was pregnant


35 posted on 04/17/2014 8:23:49 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

LOL!


36 posted on 04/17/2014 8:34:12 AM PDT by SgtHooper (I lost my tag!)
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To: grania
"I’m dumbfounded that anti-depressents would be prescribed or taken during pregnancy."

Smoking gun from the Me! generation.

Sure, ASD was around before SSRIs. But a 3fold increase is very significant.

37 posted on 04/17/2014 8:56:22 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: grania
Part of the problem is that these women can't just "quit" SSRIs once they realize they might be pregnant.

They are HIGHLY addictive and they'll definitely blow a circuit, risking death, if they quit cold turkey.

38 posted on 04/17/2014 8:59:12 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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