Monday, January 02, 2006

SSRI antidepressant and pregnancy risk

The FDA has determined
that exposure to paroxetine (Paxil) in the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk for congenital malformations, particularly cardiac malformations. At the FDAÂ’s request, the manufacturer has changed paroxetineÂ’s pregnancy category from C to D and added new data and recommendations to the WARNINGS section of paroxetineÂ’s prescribing information. FDA is awaiting the final results of the recent studies and accruing additional data related to the use of paroxetine in pregnancy in order to better characterize the risk for congenital malformations associated with paroxetine.
This is quite relevant because , to my knowledge this is the first time that a SSRI antidepressant is classified as a Fcategoryory D. Many women in their reproductive age do currently take antidepressants and many may be undergoiinfertilityity treatments. At this time women taking paxil and are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should consult their physician and possibly discontinue the drug or switch to another preparation.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants that evolve their effects at the serotonin transporter. They increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell. Examples of SSRI's are
Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Emocal, Sepram)
Escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro, Cipralex)
Fluoxetine (Prozac, Fontex, Seromex, Seronil, Sarafem)
Fluvoxamine maleate (Luvox, Faverin)
Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat, Aropax, Deroxat)
Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral)

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