Posted on Jan 16, 2014

New studies show that antidepressants may be hurting babies’ lungs in the womb. Experts are urging pregnant mothers to be careful and consult their physician about this issue before taking them while pregnant.

CBS news reports on this new risk.

Researchers looked at over 3,000 babies born to mothers who were taking antidepressants. Many of the babies had serious breathing problems. Experts are urging physicians to warn pregnant moms about this side effect of antidepressants.

CBS explains the breathing issues, “The breathing problems, called persistent pulmonary hypertension, occur when high blood pressure in the lungs prevents oxygen from moving to the lungs through the rest of the body. Symptoms include rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing and a blue tint to the skin. It can be a very serious condition that causes both immediate and long-term health problems.”

 Researchers looked at seven different studies before coming to this conclusion. They construed many common anti-depressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil to see how they were affecting babies’ lungs. “The researchers found a significantly increased risk for the lung condition in infants who were exposed to SSRIs during later stages of pregnancy after 33 weeks. Between 289 and 351 women would have to be treated with an SSRI in late pregnancy to cause one case of persistent pulmonary hypertension. The decision on whether to start or continue taking antidepressants during pregnancy can be a complex one for women and their doctors, and has been of interest to researchers. Women need to make informed decisions by taking in all the risks of depression and its treatments. Psychosocial treatments [such as counseling] are appropriate for some women,” according to CBS.


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Gerry Oginski
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