Research indicates the potential for a link between using an SSRI and autism. Families with autistic children are seeking autism lawyers to file an autism lawsuit, claiming that prenatal exposure to certain antidepressant drugs—SSRIs such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor and Paxil—caused autism.
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Antidepressants and Autism
There is also evidence to indicate that the asthma medication Terbutaline (brand names Brethine and Bricanyl) given off-label to treat preterm or premature labor is associated with autism.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
ASD category includes:
- Autistic disorder (also known as "classic"autism)
- Asperger syndrome
- Childhood disintegrative disorder (rare)
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or atypical autism)
For more information on signs and symptoms of Autism, see The Mayo Clinic.
Studies on Autism and Drugs During Pregnancy
The study, "Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders", involved a total of 298 children with ASD and 1507 randomly selected control children and was conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California. It was one of the first studies to thoroughly research the link between autism and the use of SSRI antidepressants.
The report concluded that, "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. The potential risk associated with exposure must be balanced with the risk to the mother or fetus of untreated mental health disorders. Further studies are needed to replicate and extend these findings."
The most common SSRI antidepressants are the following:
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
Duke University and Johns Hopkins University have conducted studies, some of which are ongoing, that suggest the asthma drug terbutaline, particularly taken within the 25-33 week timeframe of pregnancy may cause subtle brain damage that leads to autism.
Autism Drug Lawsuits
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