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Antidepressant Shown to Cause Birth Defects

A retrospective study has suggested that the antidepressant Paxil may cause birth defects.

The study found a greater number of babies born with birth defects to women who took Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy, including an increase in heart defects.

A Third Above the Usual Rate

Researchers examined the medical records of babies born to some 3,600 women who took Paxil or other antidepressants during their first trimester. A preliminary analysis showed Paxil use increased the amount of birth defects by a third above the typical rate.

Comprehensive studies of Paxil's effects on pregnancy have never been performed.

GlaxoSmithKline Does Not Admit Causal Link

Although Paxil's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, say they intend to include this information in the warnings about Paxil's possible side effects, the company stated that, despite what the study shows, it has not concluded that there is a definite, causal link between the drug and the increased birth defects.


  • ABC News September 27, 2005