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SSRI Injuries Likely When Taken During Pregnancy

Filed December 6th, 2012 admin

Expecting mothers who take the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are at an increased risk of having children with birth defects.

SSRIs include drugs such as Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro, all of which have been linked to side effects and complications when used by pregnant women. Multiple studies indicate that the use of SSRIs during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects including cleft lip and cleft palate, cardiac deformations, spina bifida, and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). PPHN is a serious respiratory condition that causes a lack of oxygen. Earlier this year, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) released a study supporting the relationship between PPHN and the use of SSRIs. The conclusion was based on data from over 1.6 million birth records from five Nordic countries.

In October, a study published in the Human Reproduction journal found that SSRIs are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects, preterm birth, newborn behavioral syndrome, PPHN, and possible longer term neurobehavioral effects. The authors also stated that there is no evidence that SSRIs have any benefits for mothers and their children.

The connection between SSRIs and children born with birth defects has long been suspected. A 1996 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who took Prozac during pregnancy were two times as likely to have a baby with three or more minor abnormalities. A 2005 study also found that infants exposed to SSRIs in the first trimester had a 60 percent increased probability of developing congenital heart defects.

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