Antidepressants are commonly taken by women of childbearing age who suffer from depression. Quite a bit of research has been conducted on the side effects of using such medication in pregnant women. Researchers are primarily concerned with the teratogenic risk of such drugs. (“Teratogenic” refers to malformations observed in the embryo or fetus.)
One medication that has been studied recently is paroxetine (Paxil). Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and may be associated with teratogenic risk. One study conducted to explore this association is titled “Paroxetine and Congenital malformations: meta-Analysis and Consideration of Potential Confounding Factors”; the study was conducted by Bar-Oz et al. and was published in PubMed in 2007. The authors state, “The purpose of this study was to quantify first-trimester exposure to paroxetine and birth defects” Essentially, the primary goal of the study was to calculate whether usage of paroxetine was statistically associated with an increase in birth defects.
In order to ensure that the research was conclusive the authors wanted to know if babies born to women taking SSRIs are checked for malformations at the same rate as other babies. Furthermore, they checked whether paroxetine was prescribed for the same conditions as other SSRIs.
The research revealed that paroxetine was in fact associated with a higher rate of fetal malformation stating ”first-trimester paroxetine exposure was associated with a significant increase in the risk for cardiac malformation (odds ratio [OR], 1.72; 95% CI, 1.22-2.42).” They did also detect confounding factors, potentially influencing the data. Babies born to women taking paroxetine and other SSRIs were in fact checked for malformations at a higher rate, potentially revealing a detection bias. Additionally, paroxetine was more commonly prescribed for anxiety or panic, relative to other SSRIs. These factors could potentially influence the data, however, paroxetine was still statistically associated with a nearly doubling of the rate of fetal malformation.
This article, along with similar pieces of Paxil research, could be used in a Paxil birth defects lawsuit to help demonstrate to a court that the manufacturers of Paxil knew or should have known the risk for birth defects associated with their product.
If you, or a loved one used Paxil during pregnancy, do not hesitate to contact our team of Paxil® birth defects lawyers at the information provided below. We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.