Sunday, May 02, 2004

Prozac in the Water

(We have often said they must put Prozac in the water down there
at The Villages in Florida...those people are just too darn happy.
Now it appears, that may be true!. ed.)

Prozac Found In US Surface Water & Fish
Popular Antidepressant Also Affects Unborn Babies
By Maggie Fox
Health and Science Correspondent

One of the most popular antidepressants, best known
by the brand name Prozac, can affect the development of babies when pregnant
women take the drug, according to a government report released on Tuesday.

Normal doses can cause babies to be born lighter and sleepier than normal,
or make them jittery or cause respiratory problems, the panel appointed by
the National Toxicology Program said.

"These effects appear to result more readily from in utero exposure late in
gestation," the report, issued for public comment, reads.

The report is a summary from a working group of experts who studied dozens
of medical studies using the drug, known generically as fluoxetine.

"The observed toxicity may be reversible, although long-term follow-up
studies have not been conducted to look for residual effects," it adds.

"The evidence suggests that developmental toxicity can also occur in the
form of shortened gestational duration and reduced birth weight at term."

The experts also noted several reports that found fluoxetine could affect a
patient's ability to achieve sexual climax -- both male and female.

It can get into breast milk and is found in the blood of newborns of mothers
taking the drug.

The report, available on the Internet at , says
fluoxetine is widely used and can now be found in the environment.

"Fluoxetine has been reported in U.S. surface waters, presumably derived
from urine and feces of people on therapy," the report reads. One researcher
found fluoxetine in bluegill fish.

"The presence of fluoxetine ... in wastewater/groundwater/sediment should be
investigated," the report recommends.

But the report noted it could be more dangerous for an expectant or new
mother to be seriously depressed.

"Mood disorders are common in women of child-bearing years and it has been
estimated that 15.6 percent of women meet criteria for major depression
during the third trimester of pregnancy," the report reads.

The panel also said more study was needed to find out how and why
antidepressants such as fluoxetine can stimulate production of new brain
cells. That could also affect a fetus or newborn baby in unexpected ways,
they said.
---Okay, so what they are saying here is that it is WORSE for a mother to
be depressed during pregnancy than for her baby to be exposed to Prozac --
or for ALL of us to imbibe a little fluoxetine in our drinking water?

Furthermore - last night I saw a TV ad for Paxil....we were out listening to our
friend's band -- Witness Protection ! -- and a TV in the bar was running
the text commentary overlay. It looked to me like it so many words...
that the side-effects of Paxil which had just been recited in a long list could
actually be WORSE when you stop taking it! So, does that mean if you start
this stuff, you had better not stop!?

Oh well, no problem, just drink lots of water, it's good for you!

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