Birth Defects Linked with Antidepressant Paxil | The Knowledge Dynasty

Birth Defects Linked with Antidepressant Paxil

Linked Data
by elcovs

The moment it begins beating, the heart must effectively distribute blood to nourish the different vital organs in our body. If defects are present, the rest of the body also has to compensate. Atrial Septal Defect is a type of birth defect involving the heart. This condition is found at birth and it is marked by a patent wall in between the upper heart chambers known as atria (sing. Atrium). It has been noted that some of the infants delivered by women who took Paxil when pregnant developed Atrial Septal Defect and some who took the medication during the first three months even had Paxil miscarriages.

Some Things to Know About Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)

Statistics show that 1 in every 2000 babies are born with Atrial Septal Defects and most of them are females as they outnumber males, 3:1 Smaller ASD’s can spontaneously close without being repaired but this is rather rare within the first two years of life. In more serious cases however, like in larger ASD’s, surgery is needed to avoid any more complications that might be damaging to the heart and the lungs. This might be a congenital condition but the signs and symptoms cannot be noticed at birth but only when the individual reaches adulthood. Usually, the onset of symptoms is around the age of 30 or later. For long standing ASD’s, these are observable in an individual: 

• Abnormal heart sounds

• Shortness of breath especially upon physical exertion

• Easily gets fatigued

• Bluish skin tint that is easily observed on nail beds and the lips

• Observable swelling of the lower extremities and the abdomen

• Frequent lung infections

• Stroke

These should be not taken lightly as most, if not all, of them can lead to other and more serious complications such as increase in blood pressure, arrhythmias, shortened life expectancy and worse, death.

Paxil’s Link with Atrial Septal Defect

Paxil used to be classified by the U.S. FDA as a Pregnancy Category B medication until studies have shown its negative effects on the fetus. In 2005, the FDA released a warning on pregnant women and their doctors as a study showed that Paxil takers were twice as likely to give birth to infants with heart defects like ASD. Another study also showed that risks of developing heart defects rose from 1 percent to 2 percent in babies born to Paxil users. The findings that these studies had are serious which prompted the FDA and GlaxoSmithKline, the drug’s manufacturer, to reclassify the medication from Category B to Category D.

Paxil has been known to cause several types of birth defects which include congenital heart disease, in newborn babies whose mothers had taken the drug during pregnancy. You can learn more about the “Paxil and miscarriage” and adverse side effects of Paxil here.

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