SSRI Antidepressants Linked To Serious Lung Disorder in NewbornsMar 10, 2006 | Health Canada Health Canada is advising women who are taking antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) and who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant to discuss the situation with their doctor due to potential risks to the baby.
Health Canada stresses that patients should not stop taking SSRI medication without first consulting their doctors, as they could experience serious side effects.
Generally, SSRI treatment should only be continued if the benefits to the individual patient are thought to outweigh the risks to the unborn child, while also considering the benefits and risks of switching to another treatment option or stopping treatment altogether. These precautions and the possibility of adverse health effects in newborns are mentioned in the current Canadian prescribing information and consumer information for SSRIs.
SSRIs and other newer antidepressants prescribed for the treatment of depression include the following drugs:
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Remeron (mirtazapine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
- Zyban (bupropion) for smoking cessation
Numerous reports in Canada and abroad have already indicated that some children exposed to SSRIs and other newer antidepressants during pregnancy may develop serious complications at birth. An increase in the overall risk of major birth defects has also been associated with SSRI use.