Ostetricians are recommending that women avoid the antidepressant Paxil if they are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, due to a potential heightened risk for birth defects.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also cautioned that treatment with other antidepressants should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice "recommends that treatment with all SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors] or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or both during pregnancy be individualized and paroxetine [Paxil] use among pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant be avoided, if possible," read the statement, which is in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
In 2005 the FDA issued a warning about possible birth defects associated with Paxil when the drug is taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. In December of 2005, the FDA told GlaxoSmithKline to reclassify the drug from a Category C to D (a stronger warning) for pregnant women. Category D means studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus.
SSRIs, the category of antidepressants which includes Paxil as well as Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft, may cause newborns to have withdrawal symptoms.
The FDA site has more, here.