Use of Seroquel, Risperdal and Other Antipsychotics in Pregnancy May Impact Baby’s Motor Skills

A new study reveals that expectant mothers’ use of Seroquel, Risperdal, and other antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy are linked to motor skill problems in their babies.

The findings include that babies of pregnant mothers taking antipsychotic drugs have significantly lower-than-normal scores on standard movement, posture, and reflex tests, said researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, wrote PsychCentral. The study appears online in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Antipsychotics are approved for serious psychiatric conditions; however, the drugs can be used at physician discretion and are being used for a range of disorders. Some of these other uses have seen recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); many have not.

The study team reviewed the neuromotor skills of over 300 infants at six months of age; some mothers took either antipsychotic drugs or antidepressants during pregnancy, and some mothers did not take any psychiatric medications, said PsychCental. Those babies born to mothers who had taken antipsychotics during the pregnancy tested with significantly lower scores on neuromotor testing versus babies whose mothers took antidepressants or no psychiatric medications. Only one in five babies who were exposed to prenatal antipsychotic drugs tested with normal results, noted PsychCentral.

“Future investigations are warranted to disentangle the relative contribution of antipsychotic medications, maternal mental illness, medications and the broader psychosocial context in the developmental trajectory of high-risk infants,” wrote study author Katrina Johnson, a clinical psychologist at Emory, and colleagues, in a journal news release, according to PsychCentral.

A recent study reviewing prior Zyprexa, Abilify, Risperdal, and Seroquel research suggests that while atypical antipsychotics are used for a number of off label diagnoses, the drugs are not effective for most and there is a variance in benefits and adverse reactions, according to a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article.

We’ve long written about the links between antipsychotic medications and a number of adverse reactions, most recently concerning Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa, and Risperdal and a lack of proof of efficacy and associations with some serious side effects. Atypical antipsychotics have been the focus of thousands of lawsuits; the drug class is also the single, largest spotlight for lawsuits filed under the federal False Claims Act. Every key drug company selling atypical antipsychotics have either settled lawsuits in the hundreds of millions of dollars or are the subject of probes concerning the massaging of results or use of questionable marketing.

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