From: Ian Goddard (
Date: Mon Feb 28 2000 - 02:59:15 MST


   (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,

   [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 fluoxetine:
   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:

       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


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