Author: Suzanne B. Robotti

Suzanne B. Robotti

Suzanne is the President and Founder of MedShadow, and the Executive Director of DES Action USA.  MedShadow’s mission is to preserve quality of life by ensuring everyone has access to the risks, benefits and alternates to using drugs to manage healthcare. Read More

Pregnant women, or women planning on becoming pregnant, who use SSRIs before or during pregnancy, have worried that the drugs could affect the fetus’ or baby’s health. The NYTimes reported today on an observational study of 1.6 million births in Nordic countries. The conclusion is that SSRIs don’t lead to a higher death rate for infants under one month. The stillbirth rate or death under the age of one is higher among those whose mothers took SSRIs, but there are reasons to believe it is not the SSRI, but the psychiatric illness itself. The study was released in The Journal of…

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Research Published About New Study on ADHD This research was published in the January 2013 journal Pediatrics and sponsored by CHADD.  It followed 551 teens with ADHD from ages 14-16 until they turned 37 years old. They found that the ADHD adults had twice as many health problems, more than twice as likely to have mental health issues, 5x as likely to have antisocial personality disorder, twice as likely to have impaired work performance and three times as likely to have financial stress. There was a very interesting quote from the researcher. David W. Brook, M.D., professor of psychiatry at NYU…

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High Drug Prices Push Up the Cost of Health Insurance For All of Us $259,000 for a cystic fibrosis drug? High drug prices push up the cost of health insurance for all of us. There are at least 5 drugs that cost more than $175,000 for treatment according to Motley Fool. Since they are unique and save lives, insurance companies are forced to pay for them. I started on a rant about how drug companies price their product, but remembered I already spoke out about it. Here you go: The NYTimes had an article about the price Questcor charges for…

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Studies Link Regular Use of Aspirin to Macular Degeneration Two observational studies link regular use (three months) of aspirin to macular degeneration even if that use was TEN YEARS ago. Reported on NYTimes Well Blog, “Aspirin Use Tied to Rare Eye Disorder,” 12/18/2012. “It may be like smoking and cancer, where some people who have stopped years and years ago then get cancer,” Dr. Klein said. “It may seem out of the blue, but there’s something about latent exposure that carries forward.” A correlation such as this does not definitively prove causation. I can’t tell from the article how much aspirin…

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33 years after ADHD diagnosis, adults were behind their peers and struggling with aspects of ADHD. An article from Time Mag reported on a study about the long-term effect that ADHD has on the social and economic life of a person. This is a discouraging read. The study included 135 men (we won’t argue about the lack of women in this case. More boys are diagnosed with ADHD and that was even more so 33 years ago). Three decades after being diagnosed with ADHD at the Child Life Center, the Center conducted a follow up study and found as a…

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What is Ritalin Gone Wrong? Ritalin Gone Wrong (New York Times, January 28, 2012)  is an OpEd piece in which Dr. Sroufe contends that attention-deficit drugs only increase concentration short term. He discusses the history of medical theory on ADHD from the 1960s to today. He notes that the very real possibility that ADHD is affected by experiences in childhood. He refers his own study of 200 children followed from pregnancy through adolescence. He determined that ADHD was predictable by environment, not infant temperament at birth (which would imply an inborn deficiency) or neurological anomalies at birth. He proposes that each child…

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Don’t you hate having to call your doctor to ask yet another question about the diagnosis or how long to take the medicine? The “I Wish I had Asked that!” form will help. The form has room for your questions before the visit, a section to fill in the diagnosis with your doctor (cut down on misunderstandings), space to fill in three treatment options and questions to ask about each option. What is missing are questions about the long-term: Will I be on this medicine for a long time? Might I build an immunity or allergy to it? What are…

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Many Parents Worry That Using Ritalin Might Lead to Drug Abuse While certainly no one factor determines future drug abuse, many parents worry that using Ritalin or other ADHD drugs might lead to later drug abuse. An article carried in the online journal, Neuropsychopharmacology (catchy title), reported on a study attempting to answer this question. The authors of the study were Linda Porrino, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and professor Michael A. Nader, Ph.D., both of Wake Forest Baptist. Dr. Porrino acknowledges the concerns of many parents, “We know that the drugs used to…

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In this Q&A from CNN Health(published Jan 10, 2010) Dr. Raison gives a lengthy, thoughtful answer to the question: “What is the long-term effect of Adderall on a child starting it at age 8?” The question goes on more specifically to the appetite suppressant issues with stimulants. Dr. Raisin partially answers the question and is not reassuring about ADHD in general. He focuses on efficacy of Adderall saying in general that children who respond well to psychostimulants do much better over an eight year period than those with ADHD who don’t receive treatment. He refers to an eight-year government sponsored…

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) It’s been widely reported that Kate and William are expecting their first child. The news included the information that Kate is experiencing an extreme form of morning sickness diagnosed as hyperemesis gravidarum, known as HG. Kate has been hospitalized as the risks are immediate and severe. What is less reported are the long-term risks to the child and mother. Few are conducting research on HG, but one doc who specializes in HG refers to a paper that found children of women who had extreme nausea/vomiting during pregnancy had “more attention problems and difficulty in task persistence at…

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