Many people in the medical world question the safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other serotenergic antidepressants when used during pregnancy. Over 40 million Americans today suffer from depression, anxiety, or other related mental health issues. There is an ongoing debate about the safety of these drugs and if they possess long term health risks for both the mother and the fetus. The Division of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, conducted a study titled “Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Other Serotonergic/Noradrenergic Antidepressants During Pregnancy: A Review”, where their objective was to address concerns associated with the use of SSRIs and other serotonergic antidepressants during pregnancy.
Case reports, case series, and meta analyses were identified through searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE to gather information for this study. Specific search terms were used, such as Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Citalopram, escitalopram, in utero exposure, and neonatal complications. Major malformations such as cardiac defects have been associated with Paroxetine when used during pregnancy.
Author Tuccori M. from the above study states “Significant associations between maternal exposure to SSRIs and both persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and a self-limiting neonatal behavioral syndrome have been reported in a number of recent original studies and meta-analyses. Some studies have suggested a relationship between the use of SSRIs or other serotonergic/noradrenergic antidepressants and the occurrence of miscarriage, although these studies had methodologic limitations that affected the strength of the data.”
There is only weak evidence for the association between utero exposure to SSRIs and alterations in neurobehavioral development. SSRIs should be used with caution during pregnancy, and many doctors recommend follow up of infants exposed to these drugs during development. Here is another paper about Paroxetine in the first trimester and the prevalence of congenital malformations.
As a result of the volume of research coming out showing a connection between SSRIs and birth defects, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits, particularly Paxil birth defect lawsuits, have been filed.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Paxil® birth defects lawyers at the information below for a free, no-obligation case consultation. We will be here to help every step of the way.