Health Canada issues antidepressant warning for pregnant women
Women who take antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil and are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant are warned of potential risks to the baby, Health Canada said.
The department issued the advisory on Friday, noting research suggests antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may increase the risk for serious complications at birth.
- FROM MARCH 2, 2006: Watch antidepressant use during pregnancy, doctors advise
The warning applies to SSRIs and other newer antidepressants, including:
- Wellbutrin (bupropion).
- Celexa (citalopram).
- Cipralex (escitalopram).
- Prozac (fluoxetine).
- Luvox (fluvoxamine).
- Remeron (mirtazapine).
- Paxil (paroxetine).
- Zoloft (sertraline).
- Effexor (venlafaxine).
- Zyban (bupropion) for smoking cessation.
The side-effects in newborns are included in information for doctors prescribing SSRIs and in consumer information, Health Canada said.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine linked SSRIs to persistent pulmonary hypertension, a rare but life-threatening condition for newborns who do not receive enough oxygen in the blood.
"According to the study, babies born with this condition were six times more likely than healthy babies to have been exposed to SSRIs," the advisory said. "This information is considered to be preliminary at this time."