The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

Year End, New Year in Review

The Washington Times: MENTAL HEALTH TROJAN HORSE IN HEALTH CARE BILL

The MOTHERS Act in Health Care Bill Heads To Final Negotiations & Susan Stone’s False Statement About Melanie Stokes

Why The MOTHERS Act Should Not Become Law

ELECTROSHOCK COMMENTS

Go directly to the FDA web comment page about electroshock here:
http://bit.ly/FDAECT

At least say:

“I oppose the FDA’s proposed reclassification of the ECT device to
Class II. The FDA should investigate the ECT device for safety and
effectiveness. The FDA should call for Pre-Market Approval
Applications for the device.”

Electroshock Survivor Leonard Roy Frank to FDA: Case Against ECT

FDA – “Yes Man” to Electroshock?

Pharmalot’s take on the new study on meds during pregnancy being initiated by the FDA and others (FDA to look at medication safety during pregnancy)

Motherhood is Not A Medical Disorder, one of the top posts of the year on Psychiatrist Dr. Doug Bremner’s blog Before You Take That Pill.

Antidepressants no more effective than a sugar pill

Before You Take That Antidepressant, Visit This Website (Op Ed News Re: SSRI Stories)

Ritalin Use Linked With 500% Increase in Sudden Death of Children

Psychiatrist Under Federal Investigation After Writing 96,685 psych drug prescriptions- about 153 per day

Advocates Want New Rules to Protect Nursing Home Patients from Abuse with Antipsychotics

TOP POSTS ON THE BITTER PILL:

TOP POSTS ON BREATH (MADNAP BLOG):

Filed under: Birth Defects, drug "safety", drugging children, ECT, Elderly, electroshock, FDA, fight for kids, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kilker v. GSK Documents Available for Download

Sadly I have not had the chance to read all of these yet so I can’t tell you what’s in them but according to Fiddy it’s some pretty amazing stuff. I encourage you to download and read the documents in the Kilker v. GSK trial in which the jury found GSK guilty and ordered a $2.5 million verdict for the heart defect they caused that poor little boy.

Download here.

Filed under: antidepressants, drug "safety", mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, Pregnancy, , , , , ,

TIME Magazine Retracts False Statement about Amy Philo (yes, that’s me)

***
UPDATE:

Today, July 12, TIME made the correction online. It still has the part that implies I had PPD, which is something that other reporters have said before even though I have never said I had PPD. I had anxiety, normal for the situation. Later I had Zoloft-induced psychosis. I call it PPZ.

I don’t think that part is as important as the timing of the dangerous thoughts and hallucinations so I am letting that part go. However I find it strange that psychiatrists have managed to label reasonable fear and protectiveness as part of a mental illness.

The corrected version states, “Her son recovered, but after the incident, Philo became preoccupied with his safety and felt severe anxiety about protecting him — a common symptom of PPD.” The bottom of the article also states,  “The original version of this article stated that after Amy Philo’s newborn suffered an accidental choking incident, Ms. Philo’s preoccupation with his safety included fear of hurting her baby herself. However, Ms. Philo notes that that particular feeling did not intrude until later, after she began taking antidepressant medications.”

Since the incorrect version will be in print I would appreciate it if people could spread the word about the online version and the correction.

***

Here’s the ORIGINAL blog entry titled “Time Magazine to Retract False Statement about Amy Philo…” published last night:

First of all, I would just like to preface this post with a statement that I do not feel that the false statement written about me was a malicious statement or reckless mistake by the reporter. I think it was an honest mistake, and perhaps one that anyone could make. I had hoped to just wait for the correction and post the TIME article, “The Melancholy of Motherhood” on this blog as soon as it was fixed. But in order to set the record straight and hopefully minimize potential rumors and misunderstandings, I decided I needed to write about it here as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the magazine has already gone to print, and will be sitting in millions of doctor’s offices, spas, libraries, and living rooms within days. However, according to Catherine Elton, who wrote the article, the online version was supposed to be corrected last night. It’s not fixed yet so I am assuming for now that the editor is just not checking email on the weekend. The issue is the July 20 issue, so you may not have yet seen the article but it is available online.

Overall I was pleased that TIME chose to pay attention to some of the most important problems with The MOTHERS Act and I thought that Catherine Elton did a nice job on this.

However, the false statement written about me was that I had fears that I might hurt Isaac, and then I got put on Zoloft.

“…[I]ncreased screening could lead to an increase in mothers being prescribed psychiatric medication unnecessarily. That concern lies close to the heart of Amy Philo, 31, of Texas, who has become a leader of the anti-Mothers Act movement. In 2004, shortly after her first son was born, he choked on his vomit and needed emergency treatment. Her son recovered, but after the incident, Philo became preoccupied with his safety and even feared hurting him herself — a common symptom of PPD.

This could not be further from the truth. As I have written about and spoken about for the past four years (on YouTube, radio shows, TV interviews and even to members of the U.S. Senate), I was prescribed Zoloft mainly because I had a panic attack… as my doctor said, for Post Partum Anxiety, to “prevent” PPD because I was considered “at risk.” I was never “diagnosed” with PPD before going to the hospital at 10 days postpartum (the doctor there wasn’t sure what my diagnosis was, but he thought I might have PPD with psychotic features, rather than a reaction to Zoloft. Nor did he think my problems could have been related to reasonable anxiety in the face of witnessing my child almost die – if you read my story you might remember the peachy retort I was fortunate enough to hear from that same doctor,  “Your baby didn’t almost die.” Instead I was labeled paranoid and told to take my meds if I wanted to go home.).

From days 3-6 postpartum, it’s true that I was very worried about Isaac’s safety. During the time between his life-threatening choking incident at Children’s hospital and the time I was placed on Zoloft I was having trouble sleeping and did have extreme anxiety, which seemed to be getting somewhat better over time, but I was simultaneously overjoyed with my baby and motherhood. I couldn’t have been more protective and more in love with my baby, while at the same time very concerned about keeping him safe. I think they call that being a mom.

I told Catherine Elton about how I was worried about Isaac, but I never stated that I was worried I might hurt him before Zoloft, only after Zoloft was started. I realize that some women have thoughts of hurting their children before going on medication. But I never did. I was very much in the mindset of protector and very traumatized by our close call.

Before I was put on Zoloft, I wanted him in the same room as me at all times. I was afraid to let him out of my sight. I was worried that he might choke on formula, turn blue again or stop breathing. At one point my husband took him downstairs when I was lying in bed, and when I realized that Isaac was not in the room I freaked out, went downstairs, and found him in my mother-in-law’s arms, and started crying as I asked if I could please have my baby back.

When Isaac nearly choked to death at the age of three days, it was only minutes after our arrival at the hospital. He was trying to cry and vomit but couldn’t make a sound. The relief I felt when the partially digested formula finally came out and he finally started crying and breathing was tremendous, but at the same time I was in a state of horrible trauma from nearly losing him, and I knew that if I hadn’t insisted on calling 911 and brought him in, he would have died in his bassinet while we slept, or if we were awake, we wouldn’t have been able to save him ourselves.

The only reason we took him in to Children’s was because I happened to notice him in his bassinet before going to bed, and the skin around his mouth was blue. This alarmed me so I picked him up, and found that he was cold and seemed to have shallow breathing, and his hands and feet were also cold and looked blue. I could not wake him up. I told Joel about it but because Joel saw him breathing he didn’t see why I was worried. I asked my mother-in-law what she thought and she said that she thought something didn’t seem right and it would be better to be safe than sorry. I called 911. They arrived at our house within minutes, but couldn’t determine what might be wrong with him but said he needed to be taken to a hospital. They told us to go back to Children’s which was a 30 minute drive, so he could not be taken by ambulance. They would have had to take him to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids which they did not recommend, so they had us drive him to Minneapolis. On the way to the hospital in the car I had a flashlight on him (it was very dark) occasionally just to check his breathing. So you can imagine that when he started choking and turning red and purple and could not cry, and this happened literally within 2-3 minutes after we got to Children’s Hospital, I was a total mess.

Sending a social worker in to talk to a mother (whose baby is hooked up to IVs, breathing and heart monitors in a bed at Children’s) because she has been crying all night is not the best way to put her at ease. Telling a mother to let it go, and just let others feed her baby formula while she sleeps is not the best plan for a mother who has just witnessed her baby almost die from choking on formula.

Putting a mother on a drug to “prevent” PPD because her baby almost died is not even a compassionate thing to do. But modern medicine tells women that any time they have fears or anxiety, that they are “at risk” or that this is a symptom of a disease called PPD. Rather than supporting women in their new roles as protectors and supporting their spirits and physical bodies through tremendous changes and physical exhaustion, we are told we are mentally ill. This is the most sexist, disrespectful and dishonorable possible attitude and it does absolutely nothing to help women or their families. Instead, it puts them in danger, because of the fact that these medications are extraordinarily hazardous and toxic.

I agree with Catherine Elton’s article when she concludes, “Ensuring the proper support of mothers, however — whether that means treating depression or caring for women in their new roles — would require an effort much more ambitious than a single law.” Proper support of mothers would require an ambitious effort indeed. Perhaps some laws – definitely not The MOTHERS Act – but perhaps some laws need to be passed to prevent the wholesale drugging of our most vulnerable. Perhaps people need to rethink their attitudes and learn how to support women as new mothers. It’s a big change that can turn your life upside down. It can be wonderful and scary and exhausting all at the same time. It would indeed take far more than a law to teach people how to do this, and how to stop labeling women mentally ill any time they show emotions. It would take more than a law to put a stop to the drugging of women for “clinical depression” while covering up their real problems whether physical, financial, medical, nutritional, hormonal, emotional, relational, or situational.

Why do I care so much that someone thinks I had thoughts of hurting Isaac before the medication? Because it’s not true. Zoloft did not add to an instability (because I was not unstable), it turned me from a sane but loving mother who wanted nothing more than to protect her baby, into my own worst nightmare. The moment that I hallucinated throwing Isaac down the stairs (after being on Zoloft for 3 days) was almost the scariest moment of my life up to that point. The scariest moment prior to that was watching Isaac nearly die in the hospital several days earlier. But as soon as I was afraid I might actually hurt him, I was so intensely afraid for him that I wanted to kill myself. I thought that was the only way to protect him. It wasn’t out of guilt that I wanted to die. There was guilt, and I didn’t know how I could look in the mirror. I hated myself. But mostly I saw no way out, no way for him to be safe with me around.

As many more days and weeks on Zoloft took their toll and Zoloft-induced psychotic feelings set in, and the thoughts of suicide were overpowered with constant thoughts of homicide, I was less and less bothered by the thoughts of killing my son, then later my husband, mother, cats, neighbors, and then committing suicide.

In essence these drugs can take away your feelings about everything, and give you overwhelming, nonsensical, violent urges. There is no motive for them but they are persistent and frightening.

It’s eerie to me that people chalk this up to Post Partum Depression. We have been so programmed as a society to believe this. I read the PPD bloggers’ stories and while reading so many of them I wonder what it would be like to start out your child’s life like that. It seems mild compared to what I went through. I would trade for that.

Fortunately, although I feel that the first several months of my son’s life outside the womb were almost totally stolen from me, by going off of the Zoloft I got my own soul back. And this is all that I want people to know, because if you’re on drugs that are making you a monster, you can get yours back too.

I wish I could go back in time and not go through what I did. I wish I could somehow reach all these women and help them understand it so they don’t have to go through it too. I wish I could go back and pull the pills from the hands of mothers swallowing them during pregnancy or breastfeeding who would someday lose their babies because of it. But I can’t. I wish I could have started out Toby’s life without people wondering if I was really unstable and about to snap like I did after Isaac was born. I wish I could go through life without knowledge of what it’s like to contemplate killing your baby, or wanting to kill yourself. But all I can do at this point is just tell the truth and hope it helps someone else not have to learn the hard way.

So here is the still-incorrect version of TIME’s article, The Melancholy of Motherhood.

Feel free to link here, to this article, before you link to the TIME article, to help me set the record straight and clear up the misunderstanding that is being sent out all around the country in print, so that people will really understand that it was Zoloft that started me down this road. It’s not as important to me what people think about me as it is that they know the truth before they start swallowing these deadly drugs themselves.

Read the full story here: “Docs blame PPD for the horrors of Zoloft” – http://chaada.org/smf/index.php?topic=15.0

Filed under: choking, Coon Rapids, drug "safety", drugging children, Isaac Philo, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, PPD, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Money Talks: Profit Before Patient Safety

Filed under: drug "safety", , , , ,

Effexor Baby’s Grieving Mother Protests Potential MOTHERS Act, Warns Others

Grieving Mother Christian Delahunty Warns Others About Effexor During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

(Newswire: http://christiannewswire.com/news/120709939.html)

by Amy Philo

“Please I beg you to learn more. Learn everything you can while there is time… Drugs, whether legal or illegal, should not be used during these most precious months of creation.”

April 2, 2009 — Christian Delahunty of Utah believes Effexor is to blame for the death of her six-week-old daughter Indiana, who passed away last September. Given the overwhelming evidence on the toxicity of Effexor and other psychotropic drugs for adults, children, and babies, it seems to be the obvious cause. But in the minds of those responsible for pushing Effexor on Christian and similar drugs down the throats of pregnant women across America, it may be “impossible” to prove that’s the case.

With Mommy

With Mommy

It is only with that mindset of denial, or simple ignorance, that anyone could possibly justify pushing for the passage of the federal legislation called “The MOTHERS Act,” that will increase the number of pregnant women and new mothers taking psychotropic drugs.

Following the birth of her son Anaid in 2001, Christian first started taking antidepressants around six months postpartum – but primarily for stress, fatigue, and trouble coping with her mother’s death. Eventually Christian settled on Effexor because it gave her the most energy. She says she felt medication was her only option because nearly everyone in her family, from aunts to her mother, had been on some kind of antidepressant and she believed that she probably suffered from some sort of hereditary chemical deficiency.

Although Christian had three children – Gavin, Ayla and Anaid, she knew her mother would have wanted more grandchildren. In 2004, she added another baby, Jake, to her family. During that pregnancy Christian switched from Effexor to Zoloft, a milder antidepressant, at her doctor’s recommendation, but went back on Effexor after she finished nursing.

In 2007 Christian approached a new family doctor about whether she should switch back to Zoloft because she wanted one more baby. She was taking 300 mg of Effexor XR (extended release). But the doctor told her, “Oh no, you and the baby will be fine. There are no studies that prove that the Effexor is even transferred to the baby in utero or in the breast milk.”

During her last pregnancy, Christian had developed gestational diabetes (a known effect of antidepressants), went into premature labor two months early (another effect of Effexor), and had to be put on bed rest. She delivered baby Indiana a few weeks early, one month before the due date (37 weeks is considered full term and 38-42 is a normal length for a pregnancy).

When Christian found out that the doctors planned to break her water rather than try to stop contractions, she says that she told her husband, “Matt you’ve got to grab me my Effexor.”

The attending doctor abruptly reacted with, “What?!”

This doctor, who worked with Christian’s regular OBGYN, explained to Christian and Matt that he had delivered many Effexor babies and had seen a lot of problems.  “It’s not good for the baby and it needed to be stopped in the first trimester,” he said.

Next he called and warned the NICU to get ready because an Effexor baby was coming.

When Indiana was born she had trouble breathing, scored low on her APGARs, and wouldn’t cry. Christian says she was floppy, excessively sleepy and nearly impossible to feed, and states:

“She was just a really sleepy baby and wouldn’t eat. She would eat for maybe ten minutes and fall asleep. To try and nurse her was extremely difficult. In the NICU they would have to shove a bottle into her mouth just to get her to have a little bit. I would have to wake her up to eat because she would go for too long and she was having problems with keeping her food down anyway. I would burp her and she would usually throw up most of what she would eat and I would try the other side.”

Indiana spent a while in the NICU during the hospital stay and had to be on oxygen and have an IV. She was also in and out of the hospital and doctor’s office after they got to go home. Indiana had jaundice and had to be checked for bilirubin levels four different times. She had been losing a lot of weight so she also had to go in for numerous growth checkups.

Christian says she had to work really hard to wake Indiana from a deep sleep for almost every feeding and that she had to wake her up to switch sides. Her excessive sleepiness never improved, even by five weeks of age.

On September 7, 2008 Christian nursed Indiana at 8 am and then put her down for a nap. Christian went back in to wake her up at 10 and found she was not breathing.

Indiana was rushed to Children’s Hospital by paramedics. The staff was finally able to revive her after 45 minutes and she spent the next five days on life support. But it was too late. MRIs showed Indiana’s brain had badly deteriorated and the family had to let her go. She died on September 13 at six weeks of age.

Indiana with Dad

Indiana with Dad

As reported by Vera Sharav, “In April, 2004, the National Toxicology Program – Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP-CERHR) panel issued a Report after examining all the available published evidence about infants exposed to an antidepressant in utero and / or breast fed by mothers taking an antidepressant.”

Sharav continued, “The NTP-CERHR expert panel found reason for concern:

Late pregnancy exposures were associated with increased incidence of prematurity, reduced birth weight and length at full term, and poorer neonatal condition characterized by admission to special care nursery and adaptation problems (e.g., jitteriness, tachypnea, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, poor tone, respiratory distress, weak or absent cry, or desaturation on feeding).

“The authors concluded that the observed effects are specific to SRI exposure rather than underlying maternal depression.”

This report, titled “The REPRODUCTIVE and DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY of FLUOXETINE”, was originally available at http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/news/fluoxetine/fluoxetine_final.pdf.

As if the conclusions of the report were not bad enough, various studies demonstrate that antidepressants double spontaneous abortions and stillbirths and quintuple preterm births. Babies exposed to SSRIs have a six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), a potentially fatal lung problem. Nearly a third of women who take SSRIs have a baby who dies, is premature or underweight, or who has seizures.

It seems that certain sectors of the medical industry aren’t paying attention. From 2004-2008 (through the 2nd quarter only) the FDA MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting Database amassed 647 adverse reaction reports (amounting to 432 babies’ cases, since some reactions are reported by lawyers, doctors and consumers for the same child)  for prenatal or neonatal Effexor exposure, including four reports of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Two Effexor-SIDS cases were specified as a breast milk exposure only, while one was listed as pregnancy exposure. For the other, with a coma followed by SIDS, the timing of exposure was not specified.

There were also 18 intrauterine deaths, 2 neonatal deaths, 2 stillbirths, 51 miscarriages (spontaneous abortions), and numerous other fatal or life-threatening birth defects, for a total of at least 77 deaths from Effexor alone, not counting the prenatal and neonatal deaths caused by the numerous other psychotropic drugs taken by women during pregnancy or breastfeeding over those four years.

Multiply these totals by a factor of between 10 and 100, because the FDA estimates that only 1-10% of adverse reactions are ever reported. (To see the 2004-2008 reports go to http://www.psychdrugdangers.com/MothersAct.html and then select SNRIs, and Venlafaxine from the drug tables.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes and disseminates a long list of drugs that “may be of concern” in breastfed infants. The tables also appear in The Breastfeeding Answer Book (BAB) published by La Leche League (2003), which is given to leaders and subsequently used to counsel nursing mothers when they request information about drugs and breastfeeding.

In these tables, following a list of psychotropic drugs that “may be of concern” but nonetheless are claimed to have “no reported effects,” is a list of “Food and Environmental Agents” that have effects on breastfeeding. On the list are aspartame (NutraSweet) with the warning, “Caution if mother or infant has phenylketonuria” and a “Vegetarian Diet” with the warning, “Signs of B12 deficiency.”

It’s good to warn women about aspartame and diet, but what about drugs that do not have giant warnings plastered on them like NutraSweet does with PKU?

Effexor is not listed anywhere in the AAP drug tables. It seems psychotropic drugs must be incredibly safe in the mind of the Academy because even though numerous patients have nursed babies on the new antidepressants in the last two decades, there are apparently “no reports” of adverse effects on babies for most of them, at least according to the AAP.

“Drugs of Abuse” such as Amphetamine and Cocaine, Heroin and Marijuana are listed in the table with side effects identical to those listed for antidepressants in current warnings. These same side effects are absent from the AAPs tables for prescription psychotropics, with the exception of Prozac and a few antipsychotics.

The effects of street drug on infants include “Irritability, poor sleeping pattern” for Amphetamine, “Cocaine intoxication, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremulousness, and seizures” for Cocaine, “Tremors, restlenssness, vomiting, poor feeding” for heroin, and none reported for Marijuana.

Prozac must be the only unlucky antidepressant that’s bad for breastfed infants, even though according to Thomas Hale, Ph.D. and kellymom.com (a breastfeeding information site), it’s the only antidepressant that’s “recommended” for pregnancy.  Prozac side effects listed in the BAB for nursing infants include colic, irritability, feeding and sleep disorders, and slow weight gain. Although in a 2002 Mothering Magazine article titled “But Is It Safe For My Baby? Medications and Breastfeeding,” Dr. Hale wrote that Prozac had been shown to induce coma in breastfed infants.

According to kellymom.com’s summary of Dr. Hale’s recommendations, “Effexor can also be used in breastfeeding mothers if it is efficacious. It may be effective against hyperactivity.”

However, kellymom.com later implies that Celexa is no safer than Effexor even though it’s an SSRI and therefore supposedly “weaker” because “There have been two cases of excessive somnolence, decreased feeding, and weight loss in breastfed infants,” according to Hale.

Kellymom.com does note that, “Lithium use by the breastfeeding mother is dangerous to the breastfed infant. Valium use by the breastfeeding mother entails a greater risk of infant sedation, and may perhaps increase the risk of SIDS.

Finally, a “Drug Hierarchy” of Hale’s first to last choice is listed as: Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, and Prozac.

“Dr. Hale concluded his talk by saying that breastfeeding should be supported fully and not interrupted by mom’s needs for medication; and that treatment of postpartum depression can be accomplished relatively safely in breastfeeding mothers. So, in his consideration, moms should continue breastfeeding and should get drug treatment as needed for depression.”

http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/antidepressants-hale10-02.html#Effexor

However according to Candace S. Brown, PharmD, BCPP, CFNP, writing for femalepatient.com, “Illet et al studied three cases of breast-feeding women using venlafaxine [Effexor], and reported M/P ratios of up to 4.7.28… Given their high M/P ratios and the limited amount of information available on these antidepressants [venlafaxine, bupropion, trazodone, and nefazodone], they are not recommended in lactating women at this time.”

Milk-to-Plasma Ratio: Medication concentration in milk is frequently compared with the concentration in maternal serum to quantify the extent of passage; this is known as the milk-to-plasma ratio (M/P). In general, compounds that are weakly protein-bound, highly lipid-soluble, weakly basic, and small in molecular size have higher M/P ratios. Ratios greater than 1 indicate that the medication is present in higher concentrations in breast milk than in maternal serum. The higher the M/P ratio, the greater the infant exposure to medication.

http://www.femalepatient.com/html/arc/sig/pharma/articles/article_3.asp

The article further explains that:

Infants’ abilities to absorb, metabolize, and eliminate drugs determine how these drugs will affect them. Compared with adults, infants have a higher gastric pH, causing basic compounds, which remain un-ionized, to have higher absorption rates than do acidic compounds.  Infants also have lower levels of albumin, resulting in higher amounts of free/unbound (and therefore active) medication. Liver metabolic enzymes are immature in infants, decreasing the rate of degradation of medication. In addition, neonates’ kidneys have a glomerular filtration rate that is 30% to 40% of that in adults. Finally, the blood-brain barrier in newborns is not fully developed, and central nervous system concentrations of some lipid-soluble compounds may reach levels that are 10 to 30 times those in serum. As a result of all of these factors, medications that reach the serum in neonates, as compared with those that reach the serum of adults or children older than 6 months, are more likely to be active, less likely to be metabolized and excreted, and more likely to cross into the brain.

Given the confusing and contradictory information found with so many varying sources, whether it’s their La Leche League leader or lactation consultant, a magazine article, or even a breastfeeding website, most new mothers will probably ask for a professional opinion from a doctor or pharmacist.  Either one should be readily able to offer the following information straight from the Effexor label, which can be found by merely “Googling” Effexor in breastfeeding or pregnancy:

[Effexor during pregnancy in animal studies resulted in a] “decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known. Venlafaxine appears to cross the human placenta near term.

In a prospective study pregnancy outcomes of 150 women exposed to venlafaxine during first trimester were compared with the pregnancy outcomes of a group of pregnant women who received selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and a group of women who received nonteratogenic drugs. The majority of the women in the venlafaxine group took 75 mg/day (range 37.5 to 300 mg/day) of venlafaxine immediate release form. Among the 150 women who were exposed to venlafaxine during pregnancy, 125 had live births, 18 had spontaneous abortions and seven had therapeutic abortions; two of the babies had major malformations.

Yet when Christian Delahunty approached her family doctor about switching from Effexor to a different medication when she wanted to have another baby, she was told that there were “no studies” showing that Effexor even gets to the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. According to Christian, the maximum dose of extended release Effexor is 225 mg. She was on 300 mg at the start of her pregnancy and throughout Indi’s life.

Perhaps Christian’s OBGYN and family doctor only recently graduated from medical school, or maybe they both had gone on vacation and missed reading emails when the FDA MedWatch and Wyeth issued a warning letter on June 28, 2004, specifically for doctors on the dangers of Effexor in pregnancy and stated in part, “Neonates exposed to Effexor, other SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), late in the third trimester of pregnancy have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding.”

Today, Christian spends the days coping with the loss of her daughter but says she feels inspired by baby Indi to help others not have to go through the same tragedy. Christian switched to Lexapro after Indiana died because she wanted nothing to do with Effexor, and then started tapering off the drug slowly. Her last dose was four days ago. Already she says, “I am actually starting to feel better because I don’t feel so controlled by a substance… If you don’t take your dose it affects you horribly. This is the first time I’ve been sober in eight years. It makes me want to cry because it did have so much effect on every part of your life. I was just on a rollercoaster ride, that’s what it feels like.”

“I cope by just praying to God, and in my mind having conversations with Indi. I have an incredible support system and I have to believe – and I think one of the biggest things helping me through this – is that I believe this was her purpose. We had to go through what we had to because she needed to make a difference. She needed to help other people realize that this is serious and it is real.”

“I told my OBGYN at my first consultation that I was on Effexor and she didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Throughout the pregnancy, I had my doubts and my first instinct was that this wasn’t right, but I was being told that it was just fine. The delivering doctor brought up Effexor. After Indi passed away the thought just kept coming back to me and then I started doing my research and found out how dangerous it was. I Googled Effexor baby, Effexor dangers, Effexor and pregnancy… I was so shocked because it was so easy to do that and I should have done that before. Why didn’t the doctors know that? There is so much controversy over it, why don’t the doctors research more into it without taking the rep’s point of view saying it’s just fine?”

When asked what she thinks about The MOTHERS Act, Christian said:

“It puts so many babies at risk for developing so many different problems. And it puts the mother at risk. Postpartum is normal, it’s natural. It’s learning how to cope with your stress and your situation, rather than just taking drugs to forget about it or to mask what’s natural. There are so many people out there who I know are thinking like I thought – you either have family members on antidepressants or you know somebody – it’s just kinda normal, you know we’ll all start taking an antidepressant… Just because it’s prescribed from a doctor it doesn’t make it safe.”

“I trusted my doctor and that mistake – it cost me. It cost my whole entire family. That is why I have to believe that this was Indi’s purpose. Educate yourselves. If the doctors aren’t going to be educated then we need to. We need to take the power back.”

By the way, the March of Dimes, a pharma-funded group that endorses The MOTHERS Act as well as the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, does warn against the use of caffeine in pregnancy due to a risk of miscarriage.

To learn more about the dangers of “The MOTHERS Act,” go to uniteforlife.org.
Please go to this link to watch a video in memory of baby Indiana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGX_34TmT4w

Note: This article was updated with the latest MedWatch information on July 28,2009. For more reports on drugs commonly given to nursing mothers such as antidepressants and Zyprexa, go to http://momsandmeds.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/breastmilkexposure/

Filed under: antidepressants, Birth Defects, child endangerment, Christian Delahunty, Congress, dead babies, drug "safety", drugging children, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, eugenics, experimentation, FDA Warnings, Indiana, mothers act, pharmacology, PPD, Pregnancy, The Future of The United States, toxicity deaths, , ,

More Preemption Articles

The Big Business of Medicine
How the FDA Protects Big Pharma
CounterPunch
http://www.counterpunch.org/pringle01102007.html

Daniel Troy – Bush Administration’s Preemption Gang – Part I
February 25, 2008
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/10029/bush-preemption.html

Daniel Troy – Bush Administration’s Preemption Gang – Part II
February 26, 2008
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/10030/bush-preemption-troy.html

Sheldon Bradshaw – Bush Administration Preemption Gang
March 4, 2008
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/features/preemption-bradshaw.html

Ted Olson – Bush Administration Preemption Gang
March 3, 2008
http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/10095/preemption-medtronic.html

Filed under: drug "safety", FDA, Preemption, ,

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Matthew Schultz killed by Effexor. Two hours old.

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Amery Schultz

Seeking Parents in Missouri for Celexa / Lexapro Class Action – Call 800-827-0087

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BREATH – The Official Blog of MADNAP – momsandmeds.com

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  • Untitled
    Originally posted on The Bitter Pill:Kickstarter is a website for artists to use to raise money and complete awesome projects. The best thing to come to the informed consent movement since Thomas Szasz could just be the new, upcoming film by Dan Jenski, “ADDicted” which basically gives Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and the like a…
  • Untitled
    Originally posted on The Bitter Pill:In the studies submitted to the FDA for approving Zoloft (a drug that has killed numerous families, babies, mothers, children), the drug maker covered up the fact that Zoloft failed to outperform placebo, according to a new consumer fraud lawsuit filed by the firms Baum, Hedlund Aristei & Goldman…
  • Antidepressants Again Linked to Preterm Birth & Seizures
    In what was more than likely originally an attempt to prove that depression causes birth complications, researchers from Yale, Tufts, et al found in two new studies that antidepressants increase the risk of preterm birth and seizures. Read more at this link on the newly redesigned UNITE website.
  • Who Could Do This On Purpose
    Read this blog to find out
  • Canadian Regulation on Fetal Exposure to Psychotropic Drugs – Public Input Needed
    Canadian Regulation on Fetal Exposure to Psychotropic Drugs – Public Input Needed (Cross-Posted on The Bitter Pill blog) Amery and Christiane Schultz have been asked to provide input on proposed recommendations regarding psychotropic drugs in pregnancy in Canada. Amery & Christiane are hard-working activists affiliated with UNITE and MADNAP. Please send […]

UNITE ARCHIVES – Victims & Survivors Against The MOTHERS Act: YouTube Playlist

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