Paxil and pregnancy

In general, women taking antidepressants during their first trimester of pregnancy will beget babies with serious birth defects. That too, if it is Paxil, these women are at greater risk, when compared to women using other antidepressants. These are not the mere warnings but the results of studies and researches made in this field. Pregnant women should therefore avoid taking Paxil during their pregnancy, particularly during their first trimester. Subsequent to these studies the manufacturer of this drug updated the Pregnancy Subsection under their "Precautions" to include all the possible side effects of this drug. The pregnant women using Paxil (paroxetine) during their pregnancy are prone to high risk of heart defects in their new born babies.

According to a report published in the Journal of Women's Health, women who suffer of depression before they are on the motherly way may have the risk of preterm birth. The report also says that black women are at higher risk than white women in this respect. America's obstetricians advise women to avoid Paxil during their pregnancy. This is applicable even if a woman is intending to become pregnant. According to obstetricians it will otherwise cause birth defects. Experts in this field opine that treatment with antidepressants should not be given indiscriminately. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended individualized use of antidepressant among pregnant women. This institution has also advised that use of Paxil for treating pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant should be avoided. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has warned about the possibilities of birth defects if pregnant women take it during their first trimester of pregnancy.

One more study revealed that the risk of heart defects in babies was up to 1.5% for mothers who took Paxil in the first trimester of their pregnancy. It was only 1% for the mothers who took some other antidepressant in the first three months of their pregnancy. Briefly, cardiovascular defects were the most common in such cases. As stated by Dr. Jennifer Wu, even a year before the formal statement given by ACOG, the American obstetricians and gynecologists were trying to do away with Paxil while treating pregnant women. However, it is clear from the studies that pregnant women taking Paxil during their early stage of pregnancy have shown a high risk that would affect the fetus.

Some studies have also shown that in take of Paxil by pregnant women had caused withdrawal symptoms in the newborns. It has been acknowledged by ACOG that pregnant women withdrawing Paxil are likely to develop mental depression. This chance is five times more in the women withdrawing Paxil than in the women who continue this drug. ACOG also has stated that depression leads to weight gain, drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases. These effects in turn cause more ill effects such as maternal problems and also health problems to the fetus.

Women get into the use of antidepressants at their productive age as they develop depression during this stage. Some women have depressive disorders during their pregnancy or during the portpartum period. Therefore, it is ideal if these issues can be addressed before pregnancy. Anyway, for unplanned pregnancies treatment becomes unavoidable. For women who have used Paxil during the early stage of their pregnancy, fetal echocardiography should be carried out to look for heart trouble. Experts feel that women having depressive disorders should plan their pregnancies in consultation with their obstetrician or gynecologist and psychiatrist. Women who have an unplanned pregnancy can be at major risk as they do not realize their pregnancy in its early stage. During this stage of pregnancy the fetus develops many organs, and hence, taking antidepressants, particularly Paxil may prove to be dangerous to the fetus in the womb.