Paxil During Pregnancy and BreastfeedingGeneric Name: Paroxetine
Indications: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to relieve symptoms of depression, OCD, PTSD and other anxiety/depressive disorders.
FDA Drug Category: D

Summary Recommendations:

Paroxetine is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of depression and other mental disoders. Patients should take the medication as prescribed. It is important to work with your physician to step down the prescription dose if changes in medication are required.

Most common brands names are Paxil and Pexeva.

General Precautions:

Paxil should not be taken with MAOIs, Orap, Zyvox, Mellaril or Urolene Blue. Tell your physician about any prescription or over the counter medications you are currently taking as some may interact with Paxil potentially causing a life-threatening reaction.

Paxil may increase thoughts of suicide. All patients will be evaluated for suicidal thoughts for a minimum of 12 weeks after starting Paxil. Suicidal thoughts are more prominent in patients under the age of 24.

Tell your doctor about all medical conditions before starting the antidepressant, particularly liver disease, bleeding disorders, kidney disease, seizures or bipolar disorder.

Effects While Trying to Conceive:

Paxil should not be taken by women who’re trying to conceive. The drug does not affect fertility, but could cause birth defects. At least one study claims antidepressants may have a negative effect on sperm development and thus may cause fertility problems. Paxil is an antidepressant.

Effects on Pregnancy:

Paxil has been placed in pregnancy category D by the Food and Drug Administration. There is evidence that the drug causes birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Possible birth defects associated with Paxil include heart and lung disorders. You must contact your doctor immediately upon finding out you're pregnant. It may be suggested for women in their childbearing years use one or more birth control methods to prevent pregnancy while on Paxil.

Some studies suggest the birth defects associated with Paxil could be serotonin syndrome or drug discontinuation syndrome. For this reason, if you are thinking about becoming pregnant talk with your physician beforehand so your medication can be changed.

Safe During Breastfeeding:

Though Paxil may be excreted in breast milk, at least one study reports undetectable amounts in fore- and hind milk. Patients who are currently breastfeeding will need to weigh the benefits of taking Paxil against the possible risks to the breastfeeding infant.