Pregnant women who use Paroxetine, an antidepressant drug, are at higher risk of congenital and cardiac malformations in newborns.
Paroxetine is mainly used to treat conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Generally, pregnant women are at greater risk of experiencing depressive symptoms, which could result in mild to moderate depression. Paroxetine, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is considered safe during pregnancy and is considered as one of the most common drugs for treating depression.
Nonetheless, a new study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that the usage of drug during the first trimester of pregnancy can increase the risk of defects in newborns.
Paroxetine will increase the risk of major congenital malformations in newborns by 23 percent and cardiac malformations by 28 percent. Researchers evaluated the effects of paroxetine on newborns.
The team found that the risk of major malformations is 3 percent and 1 percent for cardiac malformations.
Experts opined that although there are numerous benefits of antidepressants, using them during pregnancy can increase the risk of malformations. They stated that women with mild to moderate depressive symptoms should avoid using the antidepressants. It is better to opt for psychotherapy or exercise regimens instead of antidepressant drug during pregnancy.