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New studies say Paxil increases birth defect risks

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According to new studies on the antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine), the drug may increase birth defect risks for pregnant women.

As the FDA continues to gather information about Paxil and pregnancy risks, they advise health care professionals to keep their patients aware of the potential risks. The FDA is also asking GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil to change the drug’s pregnancy category from C to D, which is a more severe warning of dangers to the fetus.

The early results of the latest studies say that Paxi or paorxetine, which is often used to treat depression, may cause heart defects and other birth defects when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.

One doctor also warns agains Paxil patients stopping the medication, saying that it can create withdrawal syndromes and other problems in patients. She suggests that patients only stop under their doctor’s careful monitoring.

For more information on Paxil birth defects, visit http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/advisory/paroxetine200512.htm.