The New York Times (9/2) reports in its “Well” blog of potential risks to newborn babies stemming from pregnant women’s use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine). The piece notes that up to “14 percent of pregnant women take antidepressants,” and the FDA has warned that Paxil (paroxetine) could be responsible for birth defects. The blog posting notes that the “prevailing attitude among doctors has been that depression during pregnancy is more dangerous to mother and child than any drug could be. Now a growing number of critics are challenging that assumption.”
The paper points out that three new studies have highlighted concerns about long-term developmental effects for SSRIs, including one by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, who noted in April “that boys with autism were nearly three times more likely to have been exposed to S.S.R.I.s before birth than typically developing boys.”
— “Are Antidepressants Safe During Pregnancy?,” Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, August , 2014.