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Paxil and Birth Defects

Posted Sep 12 2008 12:05pm
Okey dokey, I don't normally post on Saturdays, but this is kinda important since almost everyone I know (okay, writers are a unique category) is on some kind of SSRIs.

The cover story in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the flagship journal for the American College of Gynecologists (ACOG) has published the following alert:

Unpublished data regarding the use of Paxil® during the first trimester of pregnancy have raised concerns about an increased risk of congenital heart malformations. Thus, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory regarding the use of Paxil® during pregnancy and the manufacturer changed its pregnancy category from C to D...

...A Category D classification means a drug has been found to be harmful to human fetuses.

more here.

I guess a YEAR AGO (oops!) GlaxoSmithKline, in its OWN study (i.e., likely run as favorable to itself as possible) came out with data so worrisome it caused the FDA to issue warnings about an increased risk of birth defects.

Now, why did it take a YEAR to trickle down to ACOG (which is the governing body for your friendly OBs, the ones who answer your questions like, "Is it okay to continue to take Paxil while I'm pregnant?" and "Should I get a mammogram?") Looking at the numbers in the study, it seemed they didn't have too much trouble finding women who were taking Paxil while pregnant (eeek!) and then counting how many birth defects (particularly heart problems) their kids had.

What's even more frightening is the endless ads touting SSRIs for PMS (see your acupuncturist first, People!), which makes it more likely that if you --oops!-- get pregnant, you've already been taking Paxil/Zoloft/Prozac for weeks if not months into your pregnancy.

Always think twice when asked to take drugs. It's always in Big Pharma's interests to have us on SSRIs (or statins, or birth control pills, etc.) our whole lives (can you say "revenue stream?), who care what it does to our brain, hormones, immune system, OUR UNBORN CHILDREN...Remember, those "free" pens ain't free!

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