Antidepressants and Pregnancy

A new study in the November issue British Journal of Clinical pharmacology reports some not-so-good news about Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Paroxetine (Paxil) taken during the first three months of pregnancy while associated with smoking.

Women are being advised to remain on the medication until they speak with their doctors but, of course, are being advised to stop smoking.

The study also points out that there is an ongoing debate in the literature about the association between antidepressants during pregnancy and the occurrence of heart anomalies in babies, suggesting that decisions need to be made on a case by case baisis, weighing all risks and benefits and more research is needed.

The findings of the report:

“Antidepressant fluoxetine during the first three months of pregnancy gave birth to four times as many babies with heart problems as women who did not and the levels were three times higher in women taking paroxetine.”

“Women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day also had more babies with heart anomalies.”

“Women taking paroxetine or smoking less than ten cigarettes a day also faced elevated risks, but not to the same extent.”

“We should point out that there is no evidence of any increased risk posed by citalopram (Celexa) and sertraline (Zoloft), which belong to the same group of antidepressants.”

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