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2005 – Research Shows Paxil, Prozac Triple Risk for Neonatal Behavioral Syndrome

Posted in Misc. Drugs, Paxil Birth Defects, Prozac Birth Defects, Zoloft Birth Defects

Published in a 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study by Dr. Eydie L. Moses-Kolko et al., titled “Neonatal Signs After Late In Utero Exposure to Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors,” reviews the danger posed to infants whose mothers used serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), a new type of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication.

Reviewing previously-published medical literature regarding neonatal outcomes after late in-utero exposure to SSRI drugs, the Moses-Kolko et al. team found that “compared with early gestational SRI exposure or no exposure, late SRI exposure carries an overall risk ratio of 3.0 … for neonatal behavioral syndrome.”[1]  That is, infants whose mothers used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors late in pregnancy were three times as likely to be born with neonatal behavioral syndrome as were children whose mothers only used these drugs in early pregnancy or refrained entirely.

Signs and symptoms of neonatal behavioral syndrome include tremors, jitteriness, shivering, increased muscle tone, feeding/digestive disturbances, irritability/agitation, respiratory disturbances, increased reflexes, excessive crying, and sleep disturbances.[2]

Sixty-one percent of the cases of neonatal behavioral syndrome were related to Paxil® exposure, and twenty-two percent of the cases of neonatal behavioral syndrome were found to be caused by Prozac® exposure; other cases of neonatal behavioral syndrome were caused by other SSRIs.[3]

This Moses-Kolko piece also reviewed the findings of other contemporary research on the dangers of SSRI use in pregnancy.  Some of the findings cited associate SSRI use with “major congenital anomalies,”[4] “poor neonatal adaptation,”[5] “prematurity,”[6] “respiratory difficulties,”[7] and “low birth weight.”[8]  Other birth defects associated with SSRI use during pregnancy can be found here.

Because the manufacturers of Paxil®, Prozac®, and other SSRIs do not include specific, overt warnings for users regarding the increased risk of birth defects, many SSRI lawsuits are currently being filed.  If you used Paxil® or Prozac® during pregnancy and your child was born with neonatal behavioral syndrome or another congenital malformation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Paxil® birth defect lawyers and Prozac® birth defect lawyers.

When you are ready, you may call or e-mail for a free, no obligation case consultation at (855) 452-5529 or justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.  We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you and your loved ones deserve.


[1] Moses-Kolko, E.L., et al. (2005) “Neonatal Signs After Late In Utero Exposure to Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors” Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 293, No. 19; pp. 2372 – 2383

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.