Prozac May Stunt Growth

Ian at Goddard.net Ian at Goddard.net
Mon Feb 28 20:15:29 EST 2000


   (c) 2/28/2000 Ian Williams Goddard

   In light of the widespread use of psychotropic drugs 
   to control growing children, [1] the following is 
   extremely important: According to a study recently 
   published in the journal Pediatrics (1999), infants 
   whose mothers took Prozac while breastfeeding grew 
   significantly less than infants whose mothers had 
   discontinued Prozac after delivery. [2] The study 
   concluded: "The data set forth in this study indicate 
   that infants who are breastfed by mothers who take 
   fluoxetine [Prozac] track a growth curve significantly 
   below that of infants breastfed without the medication."

   Previously, a study published in the New England Journal 
   of Medicine (1996) found that the birth weight of babies 
   exposed to Prozac during pregnancy was less than those 
   not exposed to Prozac during pregnancy. [3] Additionally,
   a recent animal study (1999) found that Prozac reduced the 
   birth weight of rats and concluded that Prozac "may have a 
   deleterious effect on prenatal development when administered 
   during pregnancy." [4] With the latest study in Pediatrics, 
   the evidence before us indicates that exposure to Prozac 
   both before AND after birth may retard human development. 

   There may be a biological basis for Prozac-induced growth 
   retardation: Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake 
   inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressants that have 
   been shown to reduce function in the growth-regulating 
   regions of the brain known as the hypothalamus and pituitary 
   gland. [5] It has also been shown that in some cases SSRIs 
   can reduce the release of growth hormones. [6-9] This 
   evidence could support a hypothesis that the lower weight 
   of Prozac-exposed infants may be a result of drug-induced 
   impairment of growth-regulating centers in the brain.

   While it may be too early to draw definitive conclusions 
   regarding the effect of SSRIs on human growth, the available 
   evidence clearly points to the likelihood of a detrimental 
   impact. The available evidence also raises this most-
   important question: If Prozac and other SSRIs reduce the 
   growth of infants, then what effect might they have on the 
   development of growing children and young adults, who are 
   increasingly targeted for antidepressant treatment? [1]
   Furthermore, since the evidence suggests Prozac may stunt
   growth, is it ethical to expose growing children to SSRIs?


   [1] Zito, J. M., Safer, D. J., dosReis, S., et al. (2000) 
   Trends in the Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications to 
   Preschoolers. Journal of the American Medical Association, 
   283(8). http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v283n8/full/joc91250.html 

   [2] Chambers, C. D., Anderson, P. O., Thomas, R. G., et al. 
   (1999). Weight Gain in Infants Breastfed by Mothers Who Take 
   Fluoxetine. Pediatrics, 104(5):e61.

   [3] Chambers, C. D., Johnson, K. A., Dick, L. M., et al. 
   (1996). Birth outcomes in pregnant women taking fluoxetine. 
   New England Journal of Medicine, 335(14):1010-5. 

   [4] da-Silva, V. A., Altenburg, S. P., Malheiros, L. R., et al. 
   (1999). Postnatal development of rats exposed to fluoxetine or 
   venlafaxine during the third week of pregnancy. Brazilian 
   Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 32(1):93-8.

   [5] Jensen, J. B., Jessop, D. S., Harbuz, M. S. (1999). Acute 
   and long-term treatments with the selective serotonin reuptake 
   inhibitor citalopram modulate the HPA axis activity at different 
   levels in male rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 11(6):465-71.

   [6] Lerer, B., Gelfin, Y., Gorfine, M., et al. (1999). 5-HT1A 
   receptor function in normal subjects on clinical doses of
   blunted temperature and hormone responses to ipsapirone challenge.
   Neuropsychopharmacology, Jun;20(6):628-39. 

   [7] Anderson, I. M., Deakin, J. F., Miller, H. E., (1996). The 
   effect of chronic fluvoxamine on hormonal and psychological 
   responses to buspirone in normal volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 
   (Berl), 128(1):74-82.

   [8] O'Flynn, K., O'Keane, V., Lucey, J. V., Dinan, T. G., (1991). 
   Effect of fluoxetine on noradrenergic mediated growth hormone 
   release: a double blind, placebo-controlled study. Biological 
   Psychiatry, 15;30(4):377-82. 

   [9] Serri, O., Rasio, E. (1987). The effect of d-fenfluramine 
   on anterior pituitary hormone release in the rat: in vivo and 
   in vitro studies. Canadian Journal of Physiology and 
   Pharmacology, 65(12):2449-53.

   Find these studies here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed 

       Additional Drug Reports From Goddard's Journal:


       Letter From Peter Breggin, MD, to JAMA:

       The Mass Drugging of Children: 

       Exposing Kids to Brain Damage Risk: 

       Does Making Kids Take Drugs Violate Anti-Nazi 
       Law? http://www.erols.com/igoddard/nazi-rit.htm 

GODDARD'S JOURNAL: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm 

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