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Dr. Grace Jackson Comments on Detoxing from Antidepressants & Pregnancy Exposure, Damage to DNA/Eggs

November 17, 2009

Recently we posed a question to MADNAP Co-Founder Psychiatrist Dr. Grace Jackson regarding how long antidepressants like Effexor remain in the body to damage it and a baby during pregnancy.

Here is her reply:

In my new book, Drug Induced Dementia – A Perfect Crime, (Amazon link) one of the points I tried to make in Appendix B is that most doctors have not been trained to appreciate that there are probably at least three discrete phases of drug withdrawal.

a) Acute withdrawal period

– How long it takes the drug to clear the bloodstream – and how long it takes the drug to clear the BRAIN TISSUE itself

In some cases, the elimination time for the blood vs. the brain tissue is NOT equal. This is known as “dissociation” but most doctors know nothing about this fact…

Also, we do not have good data on all drugs… Usually, this comes from research experiments using MRS [magnetic resonance spectroscopy] and fluorinated molecules.

b) Intermediate withdrawal period

– This refers to the length of time it takes for receptor physiology and receptor > 2nd messenger/3rd messenger events to “re-equilibrate.”

c) Long term withdrawal period

– This refers to the length of time it takes for GENE EXPRESSION to return to pre-drug status; and for protein expression >>> “cell-cell” communication and wiring to change.

When you are talking about miscarriages, rather than PPHN, all bets are off.

The reason for this is that UNLIKE sperm, which are made, secreted, and replaced for many decades, ALL of a woman’s eggs are present at BIRTH.

That means all of a woman’s eggs are being exposed to all chemicals throughout the mother’s lifespan, even before pregnancy… As I have written and lectured about in the past, all of the psychiatric drugs – with the exception of the stimulants so far, are being studied as adjuvant [add on] treatments for various cancers. The reasons why these drugs are effective in slowing tumor growth [etc.] is because they interrupt cell division and/or cell growth.

So, if you reason this through, it is extremely risky to expose any developing fetus to chemotherapy [thalidomide, for example, is now used as a chemotherapy for myeloma]. If any mother had been taking Effexor for years prior to conceiving, I know of no way to protect the new fetus from potential birth defects arising from the years of egg exposure to the Effexor during the past.

Unfortuately, I know of no one who is studying this question in any seriousness, because it is a question that is not generally posed.

I would suggest that it would be unlikely to find Effexor in the blood or brain 3 months after stopping Effexor, but this would not necessarily mean that 8 years of Effexor usage in the past would not still be capable of producing lasting effects.

We do not know how long term [or even short term] might be damaging eggs.

We also do not know how long term exposure to Effexor in the past might exert a lasting detrimental effect upon the mother’s ability to make serotonin. The fetus depends upon the mother for all of its serotonin for the first weeks of gestation [sorry, I do not recall from memory the exact week of development at which the fetus starts to make its own serotonin in the gut — I shall have to look this up for you or you should consult an embryologist].

Since long term users of antidepressants appear to develop a long-term vulnerability in the capacity to tolerate DECREASES in serotonin — which may involve their own increasing inabilty to make adequate serotonin, it stands to reason that chronic users of antidepressants place their fetuses at risk for a serotonin deficiency in the 1st trimester (etc.).

Why is this critical? Serotonin is an essential growth hormone for the fetus.


Question: I thought psychiatric drugs were also carcinogens – am I wrong on this? If I am right, are they both carcinogens AND tumor treatments?

But of course !!!!

This is a complicated phenomenon that, I guess, the public seldom (?never?) hears about.

All chemotherapies that “fight” cancers are also interventions that can “cause” cancer.

I’m not sure that anyone has made a good study of the exact prevalence of this phenomenon, but the classic case in point arises with a category of chemotherapies known as alkylating agents…

I quote from one of the most useful pharmacology textbooks which I own [Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews – Pharmacology, 4th Edition Editors: Harvey and Champe] “Because most antineoplastic agents are mutagens, neoplasms [for example: acute nonlymphocytic leukemia] may arise 10 or more years after the original cancer was cured.”

This raises interesting questions about the long-term effects of many psychiatric medications — from everything that i have read and researched to date, it would seem that most consumers of neuroleptics and anticonvulsant drugs are dropping dead in their 50s and 60s PRIOR to the emergence of cancers… however, if we really think about what has happened since the epidemic spread of Prozac and other alleged “anti”-depressants since the 1990s, we do not yet have good long-term data on the possible emergence of a leukemia [or other] cancer epidemic that still might appear down the line…


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    November 18, 2009 12:05 am

    Thanks for posting this, Amy. I am so glad to have this explanation. I know I need to get this book!

  2. Mary Connor permalink
    April 20, 2012 7:29 pm

    Dear Dr Jackson, You must be feeling vindicated with the award to Arkansas State of 1.1 billion dollars. Right now, here in Australia, where in spite of all the bad publicity, Risperidone is still recommended, Drs are giving it to my daughter again. 4 years ago it nearly killed her! It seems they can do what they like and even the Minister for Mental Health claims to have no jurisdiction. Thank you for making public and continuing Dr Breggin’s pioneering work on the dangers of these toxic drugs. Mary Connor


  1. Psychiatrist Dr. Grace Jackson Comments on Detoxing from Antidepressants & Pregnancy Exposure, Damage to DNA/Eggs « The Bitter Pill
  2. Year End, New Year in Review « The Bitter Pill
  3. Natural Family Blog » Blog Archive » The Bitter Pill: Year End, New Year in Review by Amy Philo

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