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Doctors urge caution in SSRI use

January 15th, 2013

Doctors continue to urge caution among pregnant women who use antidepressants in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Doctor Olof Stephansson, a researcher in a recent study to determine infant deaths associated with SSRI antidepressant use, recommended women use the lowest dose possible, if at all.

A primary concern regarding SSRI use during pregnancy among researchers is the increased risks of congenital birth defects. Studies in medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine have pointed out significantly increased birth defect risks associated with antidepressants, including heart defects, brain defects and other organ defects.

Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil and Lexapro are among the top-selling brands of SSRI antidepressants in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration is closely monitoring warnings related to the drugs, as patients continue to file birth defect lawsuits after using the antidepressant during pregnancy and giving birth to a child with defects.

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