Paxil Birth Defects

Paxil is also known as Paroxetine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.  The FDA has expressed concern over its side effects, in particular the potential for Paxil birth defects.

The side effects are striking, in that Paxil, intended to treat depression, panic, obsessive-compulsive and social anxiety disorders, may actually cause several side effects that would have the effect of increasing depression and social anxiety.

The side effects include sexual dysfunction, which may be temporary or may extend for years after the cessation of the medication (Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction).

What does FDA point out about Paxil Birth Defects?

In the area of Paxil birth defects, however, the FDA has expressed genuine concern, citing, in a warning label that health professionals are mandated to disclose, the idea that “Paxil . . . may harm your unborn baby [with] birth defects, particularly heart defects. . . premature births have also been reported.”

Miscarriages are also possible, as indicated by the (admittedly limited) studies done so far into the drug’s history (see Paxil Side Effects in Women here).   Far more problematic are the studies done on animals, where rats, mice and monkeys also experienced a high degree of miscarriages and congenital heart defects in their offspring.

Naturally, animals are not humans, and their reactions to medications cannot always be held up as problematic for people taking the drug.  However, the FDA is concerned enough to give Paxil a Pregnancy C rating, meaning that it is not a first-line choice for pregnant women experiencing depression, and in most cases, based upon the results of the aforementioned studies, is contraindicated for the pregnant patient.

In addition, the new mother taking Paxil for post-partum depression should consult her health professional, as “Paxil CR passes into [her] milk.”   This could have serious consequences for the breast feeding mother and her child, and she and her doctor should work out a feeding schedule (12 hours at least after ingestion of the drug) or substitute formula for mother’ s milk.

Other side effects of Paxil include insomnia, nausea, constipation, tremors and dizziness.   Most worrying of all is the possibility of suicidal tendencies and actions as a result of Paxil’s ingestion.   These, coupled with the stresses of pregnancy and childbirth, can result in stresses both to the mother’s and unborn child’s system, and the baby may have low birth weight, congenital stress or nervous disorders as a results.

The slight possibility exists that the patient will undergo violent anxiety and dangerous impulses, certainly nothing a newborn baby should be exposed to.

If you have further concerns about Paxil, or are taking the drug or about to begin a Paxil medication regimen, consult your health professional.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088676.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paroxetine
http://www.gsk.com/products/prescription-medicines/paxil.htm
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM249171.pdf.