The research focuses
on the class of drugs chosen most often for depression and anxiety, including the brands Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.
Paxil carries a warning of possible heart defects in newborns, and experts don't expect the new research to change that. However, they find the new studies comforting for women struggling with depression.
The possibility of birth defects from antidepressants has put doctors and patients in a tricky quandary. Birth defects obviously hurt newborns, but depressed mothers who can't give proper care also endanger their babies.
When Diana Morales found out she was pregnant again, she was thrilled... but anxious. On top of balancing marriage, career and motherhood, she was battling clinical depression. Morales was taking the anti-depressant Lexapro, one of a class of drugs that includes Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac.
"I knew that I wouldn't be well during my pregnancy if I didn't take my medication. And if I'm not well, then I really can't be the best mom," Morales told CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
Confusing matters, researchers have wondered if the concern about birth defects should extend beyond Paxil to this entire class of drugs, known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, 바카라사이트
or SSRIs. The two latest studies, appearing Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, relieve some of that worry, say birth specialists.
"Yeah, there's a risk, but the risk overall is probably pretty small," said Dr. Susan Ramin, obstetrics chairman at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, who was familiar with the findings.
The two studies — one from the federal Centers for Disease Control and the other from Boston University — use more cases of birth defects than previous research to consider links between the abnormalities and SSRIs. The Boston University study was funded partly by the National Institutes of Health and Paxil maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC
/>Together, the two studies looked at 19,471 newborns with birth defects and 9,952 without them. Then they considered what SSRIs the mothers in both groups took during the first three months of pregnancy and mapped the patterns of birth defects
/>Neither study was able to tie SSRIs as a group to either heart defects or most other defects. That reassurance is especially welcome because depressed women fret even more than other mothers about the health of their newborns, said Dr. Stephan Quentzel, a psychiatrist who treats pregnant women at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.