Product News and Recalls

Writer: Drug warning program fails to mention SSRI-birth defect link

In a piece in Canadian magazine Common Ground, University of Victoria drug policy researcher Alan Cassels questions whether pregnant women in Canada are getting adequate warnings about drugs they’re taking during pregnancy.

Cassels particularly takes issue with a Toronto-based program called Motherisk, touted as a source of “accurate and reliable information” for mothers-to-be about the potential risks of prescription drugs.

But Cassels writes that the program is sponsored by a drug company, a drug store and a foundation that takes money from major drug companies. And it omits a number of studies and regulatory advisories concerning potential risks for pregnant women from some commonly prescribed drugs.

Notably, the site neglects to mention studies indicating that a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) carry a risk of birth defects for babies born to women taking the medications, including potentially deadly heart and lung ailments. SSRIs include Zoloft and Prozac.

Patients should check with their doctors before changing or discontinuing medication use.

See the piece here: