Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Paxil-induced Birth Defects: Amer College of Ob-Gyn Warn abou tPaxil during pregnancy

Disclosure, and Accountability

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is
recommending that women avoid the antidepressant Paxil if they are or
are planning to become pregnant.

The recommendation comes one year after the FDA issued a warning about
birth defects associated with Paxil.

Other SSRIs have also been implicated in withdrawal symptoms in newborns
whose mothers took an antidepressant during pregnancy.

On the same subject, tonight on CNN News with Paula Zahn, there will be
a segment on Paxil-related birth defects in which Karen Barth Menzes,
partner in the lawfirm, Baum Hedlund will be featured.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
Ob/Gyn Group Urges Pregnant Women to Shun Paxil 11.29.06, 12:00 AM ET

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A group representing America's
obstetricians is recommending that women avoid the antidepressant Paxil
if they are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, due to a
potential heightened risk for birth defects.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also
cautioned that treatment with other antidepressants should be considered
on a case-by-case basis.

ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice "recommends that treatment with
all SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors] or selective
norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or both during pregnancy be
individualized and paroxetine [Paxil] use among pregnant women or women
planning to become pregnant be avoided, if possible," read the
statement, which is in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The guidelines come a full year after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) issued a warning about possible birth defects
associated with Paxil when the drug is taken during the first trimester
of pregnancy.

This warning was based on two studies. The first found about a 2 percent
risk of heart defects in babies born to mothers who took Paxil early in
their pregnancy, compared with a 1 percent risk in the general

The second study found that the risk of heart defects was 1.5 percent in
babies whose mothers took Paxil in the first three months of pregnancy,
compared with 1 percent in babies whose mothers took other
antidepressants in the first trimester. The most common defects were

"Since the FDA warnings a year ago, most ob/gyns have been trying to
avoid Paxil during pregnancy," noted Dr. Jennifer Wu, an
obstetrician/gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "This
is just a formal statement by ACOG."

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