Many studies have been conducted to assess the risks of taking antidepressant medication during pregnancy. Despite all the information collected, treatment of depression in pregnant women is still sub-optimal due to conflicting conclusions being reported in these studies.
In order to resolve this apparent conflict of information, a study was conducted to combine and analyze the pool of information. The study is titled “Antidepressant exposure during pregnancy and congenital malformations: is there an association? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the best evidence.” The analysis was conducted by Grigoriadis et al. and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2013. The authors state that the meta-analysis “was conducted to determine whether antenatal antidepressant exposure is associated with congenital malformations and to assess the effect of known methodological limitations.” Essentially, the researchers wanted to find out if there is in fact an association between antidepressant medication and birth defects, and they wanted to assess potential problems in the studies available.
Initially many studies were included; different researchers reviewed all of the studies independently. After careful analysis only 19 studies were considered “above quality threshold”, these studies were the primary focus of the meta-analysis.
The results of the analysis showed that “Antidepressant exposure was not associated with congenital malformations (RR=0.93; 95% CI, 0.85-1.02; P=.113) or major malformations (RR=1.07; 95% CI, 0.99-1.17;P=.095). However, increased risk for cardiovascular malformations (RR=1.36; 95% CI, 1.08-1.71;P=.008) and septal heart defects (RR=1.40; 95% CI, 1.10-1.77; P=.005) were found”.
One medication specifically mentioned by the authors was paroxetine, stating that “Pooled effects were significant for paroxetine and cardiovascular malformations (RR=1.43; 95% CI, 1.08-1.88; P=.012). These results are contrasted with those addressing methodological limitations but are typically consistent.” Paroxetine (Paxil) was the only medication singled out as being associated with cardiovascular malformations. Contradicting evidence addresses issues with the research, but all studies consistently show an association between paroxetine and cardiovascular malformations.
Due to the fact that many women who used Paxil during pregnancy did so unaware of the risk for birth defects associated with the drug, Paxil birth defects lawsuits have been filed all over the world. If you or a loved one used Paxil during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be entitled to significant compensation for the suffering that your family has endured.
For a free, no-obligation case consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Paxil® lawyers at the information below. We have the skills, resources, and experience to help you every step of the way.