Paxil and pregnancy are a potentially dangerous combination due to an increased risk of a variety of health problems when Paxil is taking during pregnancy.
Paxil is in a class of prescription medications called SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). It is used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
There is some controversy regarding taking antidepressants, particularly SSRI's, during pregnancy due possible Paxil birth defects and other potential health risks to developing fetuses.
For example, SSRI's such as Paxil are associated with increased risk of miscarriage. In addition, they found that a combination of different antidepressants doubled the risk of miscarriages.
Further, Paxil has been associated with a rare but life-threatening condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), especially when Paxil was taken during the last half of pregnancy.
Also, babies born to mothers taking Paxil are also at increased risk of developing Anencephaly, Omphalocele, septal heart defects, and Craniosynostosis.
If you are taking Paxil and become pregnant or are thinking about planning to start a family, consult with your prescribing doctor (psychiatrist) and discuss your treatment options.
For example, sometimes depression, in particular mild depression, can be managed by other means such as additional therapy. This will enable you to wean off your Paxil or take a lower dose which will be safer for your baby.
If your suffer from major depressive disorder (the most severe form of depression), however, or if you have a long history of severe depression, the risk of depressive relapse may be greater than the risks of continuing to take Paxil. There is a fine balance between the benefit of taking Paxil which must be weighed against the potential risks to the developing fetus.
As a result, the risks of continuing Paxil must be weighed carefully on an individual basis, with pivotal input from both patient and doctor.
Having a skilled and experienced psychiatrist and other mental health treatment professionals is essential to providing the safest course of treatment for both mother and developing baby.
Therefore, it is essential to work with your doctor to determine the best course of action. Your doctor may be able to adjust dosages, arrange a medication ''holiday" during your pregnancy, or help you explore alternative treatments for depression.
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