Warns that Antidepressants to Pregnant Mothers Can Cause Infant Birth Defects and Side Effects


by Kevin Hall

If Captain Obvious decided to change from marketing hotel rooms to warning about psychotropic drugs, even he would tell you that drugging a pregnant mother also includes drugging the fetus. Yet it is a regular practice to destroy the lives of children in the womb before they get a chance at their first breath of fresh air. Despite the fact that most people have seen or heard of harm to “crack babies,” they tend not to see the obvious results of mothers being prescribed dangerous, mind-altering drugs when doctors and psychiatrists prescribe them. Additionally, doctors tend to look the other way when their clinical standards, often pushed forward with drug company money, tell them to prescribe during pregnancy.

To combat this, my non-profit Citizens Commission on Human Rights New England passed out information on birth defects from antidepressants to attendees of a large Harvard OBGYN conference at the Boston Four Seasons Hotel recently to warn that allowing pregnant mothers to be prescribed psychotropic drugs means that the preborn is being similarly prescribed and is just as likely to have side effects in addition to birth defects.

The main information being passed out was regarding a study entitled, “Rate of Chiari 1 malformation in children of mothers with depression with and without prenatal SSRI exposure,” wherein 18% of the children with mothers on SSRI antidepressants were found to have this serious birth defect as opposed to only 2% of the test subjects that were not on these antidepressants. SSRI antidepressants are the newer antidepressants that were first created in the early 1990s.

Chiari 1 brain malformation is a condition wherein the brain starts growing into the top of the spinal column. In some people, it isn’t noticed while others may experience extreme negative effects such as permanent migraines wherein the pain never goes away.

Psychiatry and pharmaceutical manufacturers have marketed a lot of behaviors as mental disorders in order to increase sales of their drugs. It is easy to label the hormonal changes in women during pregnancy as depression which is why it has been reported that about 1/3 of U.S. pregnant women, and therefore the preborn children, are being drugged at some point of the pregnancy.

A quick Internet search shows that there are several class action suits against antidepressant manufacturers for causing birth defects. When looking on the psychiatric drug side effect studies blog that I put together, www.psychiatrydrugs.wordpress.com, under the antidepressant section, there are studies showing the following potential birth defects from antidepressants: Chiari 1 brain malformation, increased risk of autism by 87%, language disorders, infant heart defects and speech, scholastic and motor disorders. And this is only one category of psychotropic drug.

Regarding antipsychotics which are psychiatry’s most powerful drugs, the LA Times reported on February 11, 2011 the following: “The FDA said it has received 69 reports of problems with newborns linked to the drugs before Oct. 29, 2008, including withdrawal symptoms, abnormal muscle movements — called extrapyramidal signs — excessive sleepiness, tremor, respiratory distress and feeding disorders. Some of the infants recovered within hours or a few days, while others required prolonged hospitalization.” Yet, in 2016 a study was published and highly promoted saying that antipsychotics do not cause birth defects. That study would, of course, be used to further drug pregnant women with antipsychotics which would increase pharma sales.

The pro-antipsychotic drug for pregnant women study was done mostly by a group of psychiatrists at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York. Three years earlier, a doctor writing for Syracuse.com reported: “Drug companies paid more than $725,000 to 42 Central New York doctors, nurses and other health providers in 2011 and 2012 to talk up their medications to other health professionals. Dr. Michael J. Pratts, a psychiatrist at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, was the top earner. Merck paid him $96,550 to talk to other psychiatrists about Saphris, a drug it makes to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.”

In the article, Pratts admitted that his work was simply drug-company marketing. The article also revealed that drug companies paid out $175,000 for meals at this university and that the funds came in from fifteen different drug companies. In other words, there’s a strong likelihood that the results of this study were bought and paid for like so many other psychiatric drug studies at major universities. The huge amount of money being doled out by pharmaceutical companies is a major reason psychotropic drug studies cannot be trusted and why studies that get drugs to the market are later proven to be very flawed.

The risk of birth defects doesn’t even cover the extremely high risk of side effects that the fetus would receive prior to finding their way out the birth canal. If the mother can become addicted, turned suicidal or violent or psychotic, have heart and other body organ problems, brain size reduction and/or sexual dysfunction among a huge list of other debilitating issues, you can expect the fetus to be having similar issues. There’s no clinical justification to subject the preborn to these drugs. For those of you who are in opposition to abortion, wouldn’t harming the preborn children in such massive numbers be an issue too?