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Antipsychotic Drugs Could Harm Newborns, FDA Says

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently updated the pregnancy section of drug labels for the top-selling class of medications in the U.S.

Women prescribed antipsychotic medication should notify their doctors if they become pregnant, according to a drug safety communication from the FDA.

The communication was sparked by a recent discovery that some newborns whose mothers took the drug during their third trimester of pregnancy experienced symptoms including agitation, tremors, abnormally increased or decreased muscle tone, severe difficulty breathing and difficulty in feeding. As a result, the agency has updated the pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of medication.

The important change went unreported by mainstream media outlets, despite the fact that in 2009, antipsychotics generated the most revenue in U.S. drug sales compared to any other class of medications, even more than statins, which are cholesterol-lowering medications, or antidepressants.

Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and in some cases depression. You may have seen a commercial for one of these drugs, Abilify (aripiprazole). Other popular antipsychotics include Seroquel (quetiapine), Risperdal (risperidone) and Zyprexa (olanzapine).

Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, fill our bathroom cabinets. In a world where so many new medications are coming onto the market, it can be difficult catch safety updates, labeling changes and recall information.

Therefore, for this week’s Moms Talk Q&A, we ask:

Where do you go to find information about medications that affect you and your loved ones?

bmorrison April 18, 2011 at 01:30 PM
One should always be careful with these drugs. Previously they caused diabetes-related conditions including hyperglycemia and other blood sugar disorders. The FDA is not always fast to comment on serious drug side effects. One should always be careful and look into the side effects of a drug being prescribed, even after a doctor has said it would be okay to take. The list of drugs with serious side effects, including fatal side effects is long, and these drugs were allowed on the market until they caused many problems. Here's a list of drugs that have been either pulled from the market or relabeled -- http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs
Sara Browm April 18, 2011 at 04:58 PM
This Is something I was very concerned with when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had been taking Risperdal for years when I was completely surprised with an unplanned pregnancy. I found a alot good information here http://www.tiny9.com/u/infants-side_effects ! Thankfully my daughter, Alivia , was born Healthy & Absolutely Beautiful! Hope that info helps..Sara
Danny Haszard April 18, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Zyprexa,Risperdal and Seroquel same saga The use of powerful antipsychotic drugs has increased in children as young as three years old. Weight gain, increases in triglyceride levels and associated risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The average weight gain (adults) over the 12 week study period was the highest for Zyprexa—17 pounds. You’d be hard pressed to gain that kind of weight sport-eating your way through the holidays. One in 145 adults died in clinical trials of those taking the antipsychotic drugs Zyprexa. This is Lilly's # 1 product over $ 4 billion year sales,moreover Lilly also make billions on drugs that treat the diabetes often that has been caused by the zyprexa! --- Daniel Haszard Zyprexa victim activist and patient who got diabetes from it. http://www.zyprexa-victims.com
Owen Skoler (Editor) April 22, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Fantastic advice, Patchers! Here are two sites that I discovered when reporting on the pharmaceutical industry: First, the FDA's MedWatch (http://1.usa.gov/lBeKg). MedWatch is an invaluable resource for receiving the latest on drug recalls, labeling changes and reports of adverse events. You can subscribe to receive MedWatch alerts via email, an RSS feed and even get notifications of reports via Twitter. Second, Drugs@FDA will give you all the official information on any type of medication. This includes approval history, labeling revisions, agency documents relating to risks associated with a drug, a PDF of the label, the drug's medication guide, generic formulations and manufacturer information. Again, excellent resources and points, everyone!

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