• Monthly Archives: October 2007

    Does Estrogen Improve Cognition?

    While earlier observational studies suggested that postmenopausal hormone treatment may improve cognitive functioning in women, studies from the Women's Health Initiative have shown that estrogen replacement therapy started in postmenopausal women (65 years or older) did not enhance cognitive functioning nor did it decrease the risk of dementia.

    Link Found Between Anxiety and Preterm Birth

    While there have been concerns regarding the reproductive safety of psychotropic medications, it must be recognized that withholding or withdrawing pharmacologic treatment for depression or anxiety during pregnancy may not always be the safest option. Untreated psychiatric illness in the mother cannot be considered a benign event, and a number of studies have indicated that depression during pregnancy may negatively affect pregnancy outcomes (reviewed in Bonari 2004).

    SSRIs and Pregnancy: Putting the Risks into Perspective

    Depression is common during pregnancy, affecting 10% to 15% of women. While psychotherapy is an attractive option for the treatment of depression during pregnancy, all women do not respond to this intervention and many require pharmacotherapy. Thus far, no antidepressants have yet been approved by the FDA for use during pregnancy. Although data accumulated over the past 30 years suggest that certain medications, including the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be used safely during pregnancy, several new studies have raised concerns regarding the use of these medications during pregnancy.

    Panic Attacks in Older Women Linked to Heart Disease

    An article published in the October 2007 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that older women who experience panic attacks may be at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke and at increased risk of death over the next five years. MGH researcher Jordan W. Smoller, M.D. and colleagues followed 3,369 healthy postmenopausal women as part of the Women’s Health Initiative. Upon entry into the study, participants filled out a questionnaire about the occurrence of panic attacks in the previous six months and were then followed prospectively for an average of 5.3 years to assess risk for cardiovascular disease. About 10 percent of the women reported having a full-blown panic attack in the six months prior to the study.

    Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Side Effects

    A recent article published in Psychiatric Times reviews options for the management of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. According to this review, sexual side effects may occur in 40% to 70% of patients treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and is a common reason for poor compliance with treatment and eventual discontinuation. When sexual side effects occur, they tend to emerge early, are persistent, and rarely resolve spontaneously.

    By |2015-07-16T14:56:44-04:00October 1st, 2007|General|0 Comments
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