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SSRIs, Birth Defects and Autism: Is there a Link?

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Branchport, NY"I hope my story can be helpful for someone else" says Sherry Layton. "If I had known Effexor was linked to birth defects, I certainly would not have taken this drug, and now that I have done some research, I wouldn't have taken any SSRIs."

ssri birth defects victim"I started taking Effexor for depression in the summer of 2003 and continued throughout my pregnancy -- on my doctor's advice," says Layton. "And I also took it after my pregnancy while breastfeeding -- again on his advice. There wasn't a hint of a problem when my daughter was born, but when she was about 18 months old, Jada started having developmental problems. For example, her speech and motor skills were seriously delayed -- I had a child before her so I knew what to expect. She stopped eating with utensils, and refused to eat solid foods. We brought our concerns to her pediatrician but they were blown off. But Jada got worse and almost one year later we took her to the local Yates County ARC -- a center for people with developmental disabilities.

She was diagnosed with autism in September, 2006.

Before I found out about Jada's autism, I switched over to Cymbalta because I had been on Effexor for such a long time. But that could be just as dangerous because it is in the same SSRI family.

Through my research, I have found a few medications that have been shown to be safe during pregnancy. They are not SSRIs and ironically, they have been around for a long time. Some of these new SSRI drugs haven't had long clinical trials and they have never been tested on pregnant women -- that would be unethical. But they give the drugs to pregnant women!

With autism, the earlier you find out, the better because there is more you can do -- early intervention is key. We lost a whole year because we weren't taken seriously. At the time, we were too involved in helping Jada but after looking into these drugs, I think SSRIs could be the blame.

Now I am pregnant with my third child. This time when I found out I was pregnant I got on the computer and checked my prescription drugs. Effexor was listed in an article about SSRIs and birth defects -- this came as a shock to me. Then I found the LawyersandSettlements website. In the past few months we have read reports in the newspapers and on TV stating an alarming increase in autism, mainly with very young children.

I am going discuss with my OB/GYN the possibility of taking another med that is not classified as an SSRI.

SSRI Birth Defects Legal Help

If you took any SSRI antidepressant medication during pregnancy and your baby suffered any type of birth defect, please contact a [SSRI Birth Defects Lawyer] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.
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Posted by

@Mattan A mother with a mental disorder is only unfit if she is not in treatment. Therefore, to be a fit mother with depression, one must be on anti-depressants and/or in therapy. And @lone_scarecrow, if you had asthma and were having an attack and were offered an albuterol inhaler in order to breathe, would you have the "forward thinking" to research what side effects it has before you try to save your life? Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks, but nobody told me I was putting my child at risk by taking this medication. I was told nothing about possible birth defects. My child will need extra support for the rest of his life, and the manufacturers need to pay for their lies. I would have gladly not taken anything for my problems while I was pregnant had I been given straightforward information. I honestly believed it was safe.

Posted by

I'm am in a similar situation, my son has autism because his mothers doctor assured us that the anti depressant was safe to take. The blame is totally on those pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals who mislead people and lied to them. Honestly, my opinion is that if you are so depressed that you need meds, then you should not be considered fit to be a mother, but regulating birth in this country is taboo for some reason. There are unintelligent people, but drug companies can not take advantage of them and poison children and handicap those children for life in order to increase their profits.

Posted by

So what you are saying is that you blindly took a drug without looking into it. And that it never crossed your mind of the risk factors. So now you want to blame other people for your negligence? As far as testing on pregnant women, I'm not sure what you want. Are you saying you would like pregnant people to be tested on or that pregnant people who ask fro drugs should not be given any? It sucks that your child is autistic but stop blaming everybody else because you had no forward thinking.


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