Thursday, February 09, 2006

Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft: Lung Problems for Fetus?

New research links Prozac and other similar antidepressants during pregnancy to yet another complication in newborns: A rare life-threatening lung problem.

Infants whose mothers took the antidepressants in the second half of pregnancy had six times the expected risk of developing the lung disorder, the researchers reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine. Go here for the abstract.

The researchers looked at a problem called persistent pulmonary hypertension. The disorder develops after birth when the infant's lungs do not quickly adapt and there is not enough oxygen reaching the blood.

Fourteen mothers whose infants had the complication reported taking SSRIs during the second half of their pregnancy, compared with six mothers in the comparison group. The researchers calculated the antidepressants increased the risk of the disorder six-fold.

This is from various sources, including ABC, Yahoo, and NEJM's own web site.