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Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 October 2005]: The information requested is shown in the table, which shows the total number of items dispensed in the community in England for Ritalin and similar drugs for the period 1991 to 2004.
A number of epidemiological studies have been conducted to examine potential adverse effects in babies of women who take selective serotonin
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reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants, including paroxetine (brand name Seroxat), either in the first three months of pregnancy or at any time during pregnancy. The majority of these studies have not provided evidence of an increased risk of birth defects with SSRI antidepressants such as paroxetine.
Recently, initial results from a new study conducted by the Seroxat manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, suggest that paroxetine may increase the risk of birth defects. On receiving these new data, the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency promptly sought expert advice from the independent scientific advisory committee, the committee on safety of medicines (CSM). The CSM has requested that further analyses should be conducted and additional information sought before a conclusion can be reached on whether or not paroxetine increases the risk of congenital malformations. In the meantime the product information for paroxetine is being updated Europe-wide to reflect these new data.
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If Seroxat is taken by women in late pregnancy, it is recognised that it may cause withdrawal reactions/serotonergic effects in newborns and the product information for patients has appropriate warnings.
Current advice is that paroxetine should only be used in pregnancy when strictly indicated and only if the expected benefit to the mother is thought to be greater than any potential risk to the foetus.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of (a) the number of under-18s in England who are smokers and (b) the percentage of underage smokers who come from smoking households. 
Caroline Flint: The data are not available in the requested form. Table one shows the estimated number of smokers, to the nearest hundred thousand, for the age groups 1115 and 1619. This uses the most recent data available.
|Age||Estimated prevalence (percentage)(87)(5508210088)||Estimated population(89)||Estimated number of smokers|
|Non-smoking household||Smoking household||Total||Bases|
Ms Rosie Winterton: Commissioning of these services is a matter for the local primary care trust. The Department has commissioned the Medical Foundation for Aids and Sexual Health to undertake a review of every genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic in the country and St. Albans will receive a visit in due course. Between 200203 and 200506, the Department has invested an extra additional £176,000 for improvements in access to GUM services within St. Albans. Waiting times data show an improvement in the percentage of people being seen within 48 hours by the GUM clinic in St. Albans, which is shown in the table.
|November 2004||May 2005|
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