A new study has linked antidepressant use during pregnancy
to an increased risk of premature birth. Premature birth can be accompanied by
a slew of health problems for the newborn. Antidepressants like Paxil and
Zoloft, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, have also
been linked to birth defects when taken during the first trimester. Studies
have also suggested that newborns can experience intense and painful
withdrawals when these medications are taken later in the pregnancy.
The new study examined about 200 pregnant women, of which
about half suffered from depression. About half of these women took SSRIs
throughout the entire pregnancy. The study showed that 23 percent of the women
who took SSRIs gave birth to premature babies, while only six percent of those
women who did not suffer from depression had babies born preterm.
Depression has also been linked to premature birth, and
women suffering from depression should work closely with their doctor to weigh
the specific risks and benefits of taking antidepressants during pregnancy.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the makers SSRIs
claiming that the drugs caused birth defects and other serious injuries after
being taken pregnant mothers.