Antidepressants and Pregnancy

Two large studies are easing concerns about links between antidepressants and birth defects.

The research appears on June 28, 2007, in the New England Journal of Medicine. It focuses on the class of drugs most often prescribed for depression and anxiety, including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

The studies find that newborns face little risk of birth defects even if their mothers take the drugs early in their pregnancies.

Concerns arose after earlier studies linked certain antidepressants to heart defects and lung problems.

Doctors now say the drugs pose “no major risk” to newborns, but one adds that he wouldn’t say there’s “no risk.”

They advise that women talk to their physicians about taking antidepressants, preferably before pregnancy.