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Originally published March 24 2010

Antidepressant drugs cause premature births

by E. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed that pregnant women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during their second or third trimesters are five times more likely to have a premature delivery than those not taking them. Such antidepressant drugs include sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

Researchers also found that pregnant women who take benzodiazepines, a type of psychoactive anti-anxiety drug, at any point during their pregnancies are also at a higher risk of having a premature delivery. Their babies are also more likely to be born underweight with respiratory and other health problems.

While only nine percent of women not on any medication gave birth prematurely, roughly half of all women on benzodiazepines did. Seventeen percent of the benzodiazepine babies were born with respiratory distress syndrome and about one third of them were sent to neonatal intensive care units (ICUs). Only six percent of babies from women who were not on medications had to go to a neonatal ICU, three percent of which involved respiratory problems.

Dr. Ronit Calderon-Margalit, lead researcher of the study from Hebrew University's Hadassah School of Public Health, noted that it was unclear from the study whether or not the benefit being derived from taking the drugs is worth the significant increase in birthing complications. He believes that further studies must be conducted to verify which specific drugs are correlated to the complications and evaluate the necessity of pregnant women needing to use such drugs.

SSRIs have been implicated in causing all sorts of mental problems in those who take them. Psychosis, paranoia, and abnormal behavior are just a few of the common side effects that result from taking these dangerous medications. However withdrawal from taking SSRIs is often more dangerous that actually taking them, requiring careful supervision by a qualified professional.

According to a 2001 report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, over 200,000 people are admitted to U.S. hospitals for antidepressant-associated mania or some other type of psychosis. Shootings, murders, suicides, and other bouts of violence have been documented in thousands of cases as a result of people taking SSRIs.

Benzodiazepines are even worse, inducing similar bizarre side effects that are dangerous to both the user and to society. Benzodiazepines are also highly addictive; sudden withdrawal from them can cause seizures, hallucinations, and even death. These drugs are considered by many to be more dangerous than heroin.

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