A new study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry is suggesting that when SSRIs like Paxil or Effexor are taken during pregnancy, they don’t affect the baby’s growth during the first year.
But this study, which was conducted by researchers at Northwestern Medicine, goes directly against the numerous other studies that claim that drugs like Paxil and Effexor are directly related to birth defects when the mother takes the pills during pregnancy. Some of the birth defects linked to Paxil and Effexor include low birth weight, premature births, PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts, neural tube defects and death.
However, researchers participating in this new study found that the babies of pregnant women taking these drugs had similar weight, length and head circumference during the first year of their lives to the babies of women who didn’t take antidepressants. The study also showed that the babies born to depressed mothers did appear shorter than babies of non-depressed mothers at birth, but that this difference was gone in two weeks.
“Most women want to know about the effect of their depressive illness or the medication they take during pregnancy not only on the infant at birth, but also on the baby’s longer-term growth and development,” said Northwestern Medicine lead author Katherine L. Wisner, M.D. “This information may help women balance the risks and benefits of continuing their antidepressant treatment during pregnancy.”
The results of this study may prove to be very dangerous because it gives the impression that antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor are safe for pregnant women and their babies, whereas numerous other studies directly refute this claim. Even more studies claim that taking antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor doesn’t even work any better than a change in lifestyle or talk therapy anyway. In the end, this study may prove to be more harmful than good.