Psychotropic Drugs Linked to Birth Defects

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 29 (UPI) — Psychotropic drugs — used to treat psychiatric conditions — may be linked to birth defects, Danish researchers warn.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen associated taking psychotropic medications by mothers while pregnant to 429 adverse reactions in a group of Danish children.


The study, published in BMC Research Notes, found more than half of the 429 cases were serious and several involved birth defects — such as birth deformities and severe withdrawal syndromes.

Of the adverse reactions linked to psychotropic medications, the researchers found 42 percent were reported for psychostimulants such as Ritalin, 31 percent for antidepressants such as Prozac and 24 percent for anti-psychotics such as Haldol.

“We are constantly reminded about the dangers of alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy, but there is no information offered to women with regards to use of psychotropic medication,” researcher Lisa Aagaard said in a statement. “There is simply not enough knowledge available in this area.”

Aagaard, Ebbe Holme Hansen and colleagues studied the 4,500 pediatric adverse drug reaction reports submitted from 1998 to 2007 to determine if there were links to psychotropic medications.

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