Ob/Gyn Group Urges Pregnant Women To Shun Paxil

healthfinder.gov, Dec 01, 2006

A group representing America's obstetricians is recommending that women avoid the antidepressant Paxil if they are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, due to a potential heightened risk for birth defects.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also cautioned that treatment with other antidepressants should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice "recommends that treatment with all SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors] or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or both during pregnancy be individualized and paroxetine [Paxil] use among pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant be avoided, if possible," read the statement, which is in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The guidelines come a full year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about possible birth defects associated with Paxil when the drug is taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.

This warning was based on two studies. The first found about a 2 percent risk of heart defects in babies born to mothers who took Paxil early in their pregnancy, compared with a 1 percent risk in the general population.

The second study found that the risk of heart defects was 1.5 percent in babies whose mothers took Paxil in the first three months of pregnancy, compared with 1 percent in babies whose mothers took other antidepressants in the first trimester. The most common defects were cardiovascular. Read more at healthfinder.gov

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