An article by Laura Pogliani et al. (2010) titled “Paroxetine and neonatal withdrawal syndrome” published in BMJ Case Reports reports on a newborn who suffered neonatal withdrawal syndrome after prenatal exposure to paroxetine (Paxil).

Here is the abstract of that article:

“We report a case of neonatal withdrawal syndrome after in utero exposure to paroxetine 20 mg/day. The infant’s symptoms, such as poor neonatal adaptation, respiratory distress, decerebrate posturing, irritability and tremors, commenced soon after birth and persisted for 5 days. All neonates exposed to antidepressants, particularly serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during the last trimester should be followed-up closely for adverse symptoms.”

Like many of her contemporaries, Pogliani cites that “there is accumulating evidence that maternal SSRIs treatment during pregnancy may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as a higher rate of spontaneous abortions, lower birth weight and shorter gestation, or an increased proportion of children with minor anomalies.”

This child was born after 38 weeks gestation at six pounds, twelve ounces to a 32-year-old mother who used Paxil for the last six months of pregnancy.  Shortly after birth, the child showed poor adaptation and “respiratory distress,” and “ became tachypnoeic, he put on decerebrate posturing, showed increased tonus and reflexes, irritability and tremors.”  Thankfully, as is the case with most incidents of neonatal adaptation syndrome, symptoms subsided after about a week, and the child recovered.

The team writes “Even if it is difficult to assess the specific SSRIs that are more likely to cause NAS symptoms, infants exposed to paroxetine show the more severe neonatal withdrawal syndrome” and concludes that “infants exposed to SSRIs should be closely monitored after birth for a minimum of 48 h and, particularly those who develop severe symptoms, should be followed to assess the long term effects of prolonged exposure to SSRIs.

The high prevalence of NAS in infants exposed to SSRIs in utero should be brought to the attention of family doctors, psychiatrists, gynaecologists, paediatricians, and the possibility of such symptoms needs to be discussed with women.”

Because many women have used Paxil unaware of the risk for neonatal adaptation syndrome (NAS), a number of Paxil® birth defect lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used Paxil and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Prozac® birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5529

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.