Reuters reports on an article in Lancet on February 5, 2005 that found withdrawal symptoms in newborns when their mothers were taking SSRIs like Paxil, etc.
"The prenatal use of a widely prescribed class of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause withdrawal reactions and convulsions in newborns, analysis of an international database suggests. The data indicate that paroxetine, marketed in the US as Paxil, is the SSRI mostly often linked to these problems.
There have been other reports tying antidepressant use in pregnancy to postnatal symptoms including convulsions, irritability, abnormal crying and tremor."
I find in my practice that SSRIs are widely overprescribed in my opinion without good reason. As I have said repeatedly on this blog, there are many studies which show that psychotherapy is more effective in the long run in treating depression and other psychiatric disorders. The idea that people can fix their dysphoric moods generated by external stressors and poor coping skills with a pill is misguided nonsense perpetrated by pharmaceutical companies to make money and by HMOs to cut costs.
I have to laugh about all the discussion about evidence based medicine and research based practice when scientific findings are so easily disregarded when it doesn't fit with economic interest or professional ideology.
The Reuters report notes:
"In a related editorial, Drs. Vladislav Ruchkin and Andres Martin, at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, recommend that clinicians not shift away precipitously from using SSRIs.
However, a necessary first step is for individual practitioners to use well-defined clinical guidelines before an antidepressant is prescribed.
They also advise doctors to make better use of non-pharmacological interventions that have been proven to be effective in treating depression."
That's good advice for anyone, not just pregnant women.