Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby deaths spark fears over antidepressants: Effexor labelled as culprit

Two B.C. families whose infants died inexplicably are sounding the alarm about mothers taking antidepressants while pregnant.

Both mothers took Effexor, which Health Canada has warned can have adverse effects on babies.

“I took the pills. I didn’t question. I trusted my doctor,” said Christiane Shultz, whose son Matthew died shortly after his birth in Kamloops in 2009.

An autopsy did not determine a cause of death. However, it listed the antidepressant drug taken by his mother as a contributing factor.

“Since there was venlafaxine [Effexor] exposure, this is a consideration as a contributor to death,” the report said.

Matthew’s father Amery Shultz said his son was blue at birth and stopped breathing in his arms.

“I had rocked him to sleep and I made the assumption he was still breathing. That was not the case,” Shultz said. “Imagine … watching your child die before your eyes, very traumatically. We still relive it every day.” more