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Depressing news on pregnancy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public health advisory in November that tells doctors to weigh the risks and benefits of prescribing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors before prescribing them to pregnant women.

A group of widely prescribed antidepressants, SSRIs have been linked to birth defects. Popular SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro and Celexa.

One study found that women who stopped their medication were more prone to a relapse of depression. As a result, the FDA recommended that pregnant women not discontinue antidepressant use unless first consulting with a physician. Another study showed that SSRI use after the 20th week of pregnancy increased the risk of a life-threatening birth defect, known as persistent pulmonary hypertension, sixfold.

Other studies have linked third-trimester antidepressant use to infant irritability as well as feeding and breathing difficulties. The label on Paxil has been revised to include the increased risk of heart problems for children born to women who take the drug during their first trimester of pregnancy.

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Title Annotation:campaign update; side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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