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Briefly Noted: Talking About Drug Risks







Those reading the papers this morning may have seen reports about two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine focusing on the use of antidepressants during pregnancy.  Here’s what the study authors had to say about the research:

-Study I: Use of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects

Study Conclusion: Maternal use of SSRIs during early pregnancy was not associated with significantly increased risks of congenital heart defects or of most other categories of birth defects. Associations were observed between SSRI use and three types of birth defects, but the absolute risks were small, and these observations require confirmation by other studies. (emphasis mine)

Study II: First-Trimester Use of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors and the Risk of Birth Defects

Study Conclusion: Our findings do not show that there are significantly increased risks of craniosynostosis, omphalocele, or heart defects associated with SSRI use overall. They suggest that individual SSRIs may confer increased risks for some specific defects, but it should be recognized that the specific defects implicated are rare and the absolute risks are small. (emphasis mine)

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A Virtual Chat With’s Cary Byrd About The Healthcare 100
A few weeks ago, Cary Byrd, founder of unveiled the Healthcare 100, a listing of the world’s top 100 English-language healthcare blogs.  Since its introduction, response from the healthcare blogosphere has been fairly positive, with many bloggers noting the... Continue Reading
FDA’s Regulation Of OTC Products & The Alli Social Media Experiment
  Earlier this month GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched a blog, alliconnect, that supports its marketing efforts for its new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over the counter (OTC) weight loss drug, Alli (pronounced ally).  It has received attention in and out... Continue Reading
Google, Health Search Engines & Your Privacy
Google recently responded to a letter sent last month by the European Union questioning how the company stores online search information.  Chief among the EU’s concerns was the fact that Google stores information about users’ search patterns for up to... Continue Reading
Johnson & Johnson Enters The Healthcare Blogosphere With Official Corporate Blog
Over the past few weeks, rumors have been flying about whether and how Johnson & Johnson will engage with social media.  For example, there was much discussion when the company decided to host a dinner with pharmaceutical and medical bloggers... Continue Reading
PhRMA/Moore Exchange Harsh Words; My 'SiCKO' Post Generates Virtual Spittle
A few weeks ago, I posted a quick note about Michael Moore’s documentary, SiCKO, which premiered recently at the Cannes Film Festival.  Interest in the documentary, which focuses on the US healthcare system, has been high.  In fact, Moore, responding... Continue Reading
Jun 5
Classic Post #4: Exploring The Impact Of Social Media On Online Search
In this popular post, I feature the results of an ad-hoc analysis that reveals social media is competing with corporate Websites for online eyeballs.  This post was the inspiration for a major study my firm, Envision Solutions, published on online... Continue Reading

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