(NaturalPath) In an analysis by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers caution against the use of an anti-depressant drug called paroxetine in early pregnancy—the first trimester. This drug, used to treat depression, OCD, anxiety and PTSD can increase the risk of congenital and cardiac malformations in newborns.
Depression is common in women of child-bearing age and there has been an increase in recent years in anti-depressant usage during pregnancy. The drug in question, paroxetine, was thought to be safe for use during pregnancy.
A small unpublished study conducted by the manufacturer, however, suggested an increased risk of cardiac malformations in infants exposed to paroxetine before birth. Subsequent studies using various study designs in different populations across Europe and North America generated conflicting results in terms of statistical significance, although a trend remained towards an increased risk.
An overall analysis by a group out of Montreal found 23 relevant studies and saw that compared with no use of paroxetine, first trimester use of paroxetine was associated with a 23 percent increased risk of any major congenital malformations and a 28 percent increased risk of major cardiac malformations in newborns.
For more information, read the full study.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.