15 Stories

2 Antidepressants Linked to Birth Defects

Paxil and Prozac implicated; newer SSRIs like Zoloft, Celexa cleared

(Newser) - A CDC study of almost 28,000 women has shown links between use of the antidepressants Paxil and Prozac and birth defects, Reuters reports. The study, published in the British Medical Journal , sought to answer long-debated questions about the effect of taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, during pregnancy,... More »

Antidepressants: Identity Killers for Teens?

Katherine Sharpe: Young people forgetting how to feel 'like themselves'

(Newser) - Our growing interest in medicating children has created a scary subgroup of adolescents: those who "have known themselves longer on medication than off it," writes Katherine Sharpe in the Wall Street Journal . Sharpe, herself a former antidepressant user, says such prescriptions raise "tough questions ... for adolescents whose... More »

'Ahmazing' Teen Killer Sentenced to Life

Alyssa Bustamante tells Elizabeth Olten's family: I'm so sorry

(Newser) - A Missouri teen who pleaded guilty to murdering a 9-year-old girl in a killing she described in her journal as "ahmazing" has been sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, the News Tribune reports. Alyssa Bustamante, 18, made a statement before the sentence was handed down, telling the... More »

Prozac Made Teen Kill 9-Year-Old: Doctor

Alyssa Bustamante admitted to murder in her diary

(Newser) - A Prozac prescription may have led a teenager to murder a 9-year-old Missouri girl and describe it as "ahmazing," the News Tribune reports. Testifying today at the trial of Alyssa Bustamante—who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder—defense witness Dr. Edwin Johnstone said that Prozac "needs... More »

Prozac Killing Great Lakes' Bacteria

Scientists fear for ecosystems

(Newser) - E. coli and other microbes in the Great Lakes are dying off thanks to traces of Prozac in the water, scientists find—and that’s not necessarily good news. “Your immediate thought is, 'Well, that's good, because they're not supposed to be there anyways,” a... More »

We're a Xanax Nation

It's the most-prescribed psychiatric medication

(Newser) - Xanax is king in America—the anti-anxiety drug was prescribed more than any psychiatric medication in 2009, according to PsychCentral . We're a "zonked out" nation, observes Hamilton Nolan at Gawker , noting that the "first speed prescription" (amphetamine salts) doesn't show up until No. 11. Here's the top 10:... More »

FAA Lifts Ban on Antidepressants for Pilots

Advocates say change in decades-old policy will improve safety

(Newser) - The FAA will change a 70-year-old rule that bars pilots taking medication for depression from operating planes. The new policy, which takes effect Monday, allows pilots who have been successfully treated for a year with the patented or generic versions of Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, or Zoloft to request a waiver... More »

Number of US Antidepressant Users Doubles

(Newser) - The number of Americans on antidepressants doubled from 1996 to 2005, a new study finds, but fewer are seeing psychiatrists, and most aren’t using the drugs to affect their mood. As of 2005, the last year for which data were available, 27 million Americans—roughly 10% of the population—... More »

'Mad Pride' Calls for Rethink of Insanity

(Newser) - A growing grassroots movement called Mad Pride is urging Americans to reconsider mental illness as a "dangerous gift" rather than a disease, Newsweek reports. Spearheaded by the 8,000-member-strong Icarus Project, based in Manhattan, Mad Priders are "pro-choice" about meds—take them if you want—and... More »

Beware: Antidepressants Could Kill Your Sex Life

New studies show surprising libido effects in antidepressants

(Newser) - An impaired sex drive has long been recognized as an occasional side effect of some antidepressants, but recent research suggests the drugs' libido-stifling powers might be far more widespread than doctors and patients thought. The prevalence of users experiencing numbness or fleeting arousal may be as high as 50%, and... More »

America: Land of Doggy Doping

The business of pet pharmacology is booming

(Newser) - Americans spent $49 billion on their pets last year, with an ever-growing percentage paying for treatment of  behavioral issues with tailor-made psychotropics, reports James Vlahos in the New York Times Magazine. Frustrated owners are feeding dogs drugs like Reconcile—beef-flavored Prozac—-for "mental illnesses that eerily resemble human ones,... More »

Combat Troops Turn to Prozac

Anti-depressants keep soldiers in the field

(Newser) - A growing number of American troops serving abroad are taking Prozac and other antidepressants, Time reports. A survey last year found 12% of troops in Iraq are using the drugs, with 17% relying on them in Afghanistan. The drugs help the military keep stressed combat troops in the field—but... More »

Antidepressants Mostly Useless, Study Finds

Prozac and others make a difference only in most extreme cases

(Newser) - Big Pharma swallowed a bitter pill yesterday as Prozac and other antidepressants were found in a UK study to be largely ineffectual in all but the most extreme cases of depression. The meta-analysis of 47 clinical trials submitted to the FDA with licensing applications for six popular antidepressants concluded that... More »

Pooch Prozac Is Just the Start

New focus on depression and anxiety in pets, from dogs all the way down to fish

(Newser) - With Eli Lilly rolling out a chewable, beef-flavored version of its anti-depressant Prozac for dogs whose ears are drooping, the London Times looks at the current thinking on depression and anxiety in pets. Vets say dogs, as pack animals, are prone to separation anxiety, when left alone, and depression, when... More »

Antidepressant Warning Preceded Youth Suicide Surge

Unintended effect unfolded as use fell

(Newser) - Four years after the FDA and other agencies sparked a drop in antidepressant use by labeling the meds a suicide risk for young people, a new study shows the results were exactly the opposite of what regulators intended. From 2003 to 2004, the suicide rate among people under 19 rose... More »

15 Stories