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pregnant while using paxil
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pregnant while using paxil

Hi! I started taking paxil March 1st. I didn't want to go on any medication but, i was having bad anxiety so, now i am on 20mg of paxil. I didn't feel that 10mg was helping. Anyway, i really want a family and my DR said it would be fine if i got pregnant while i was on paxil.  She also said i would be fine if i wanted to take prozac instead of paxil.  I know that paxil is a classified "C" drug so, i am concerned about being on any drug while pregnant.  But, i don't want to feel anxiety if i don't take this medicine. If i ate more folic and B12 would i feel less anxious? Thanks for any help. K'
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The studies on Prozac go back much further, and they all show it is safe to take this medication during pregnancy.  The Paxil studies are showing the same thing.

Folic acid and  b12 are not substitutes for these medications.
16 Comments
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During my pregnancy the doctors said it was safe to use paxil and not harmful to my baby.  The paxil did help until I stopped using it the day I was admitted into the hospital.  The doctors or nurses didn't give it to me and I was there for about 3 or 4 days  due to a C-section.  How could they not give it to me?  Well, my child was born in and is now 8 mos.,  I noticed as early as 4 mos. that she had an agressive way to her.  My husband said that she was being spoiled.  Right.  Now she seems to be a bit more agressive and it scares me to think that I could have caused my child to be this way.  I asked her Dr.  if there had been studies of babies of women who used paxil during pregnancy.  Her answer was no.  If they haven't studied the effects of behavior on children of women who took the drug during pregnancy how can they say that it's safe to take?
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hi, yea, this is a pain.  because, i didn't want to go back on any anti depressants.  believe me?  you can ask anyone but, i hated feeling anxious all the time esp, when i was driving.  that was starting to be a drag.  i always have self talked to myself but, it wasn't enough.  i take the paxil in the morning with a bowl of cereal.  if it wasn't for that cereal i would forget to take the paxil.  i do want to start a family but, i know because, this is who i am i will always wonder if my baby will be ok when born and also through his/her life.  my sister in law is a nurse and ensures me it is fine to take just like my therapist who is a MD.  i just take it one day at a time.  if you need it, i guess you need it.  and i'm always praying things will work out with starting a family.  how is your baby doing?  have you seen a dr about baby being aggressive??  take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
Paxil (as I expect you know) is an SSRI.  SSRIs are psychotropic drugs.  Here are the studies and  results that I know of (there may be more, don't know) which relate to the risks of taking them during pregnancy.  

42) Psychotropic drug use during PREGNANCY: weighing THE RISKS.
Cohen LS. et al.
J Clin Psychiatry, 59 Suppl 2():18-28 1998.

This article discusses some of the risks associated with use of psychotropic drugs by pregnant women, which include malformations, neonatal toxicity, and neurological and behavioral impairment. Additionally, it emphasizes that since the safety and efficacy of these drugs in the expecting mother has never been tested, nor their use has been approved by the FDA, a careful evaluation of the risks and benefits of treatment should be conducted before psychotropic drugs are taken during pregnancy.

43) Psychotropic drug use in pregnancy and PERINATAL DEATH.
Laegreid L. et al.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, 71(6):451-7 1992 Aug.

This study analyzed psychotropic drug use in a sample population of 73 mothers of dead infants and in a control cohort of mothers of surviving infants, and found that psychotropic drug use was significantly associated with perinatal death.


44) Use of psychotropic drugs and PREGNANCY OUTCOME.
Larivaara P; et al.
J Clin Epidemiol, 49(11):1309-13 1996 Nov.

The results of this study, conducted on a cohort of 7933 pregnant women and their 8030 babies, show that use of psychotropic drugs during pregnancy is significantly associated with an increased need for hospital observation. In particular, 80.8%, and 38.3% of regular and occasional psychotropic drug users required hospital observation, compared to 27.4% of nonusers. In addition, bleeding was significantly more frequent in users vs. nonusers (23% vs. 13%), and infant mean birth weight was significantly lower among regular users.

Hope this helps.  But of course the above are just quick summaries and you might need to go to the title of each study and try to find more detail.  Or maybe the Forum MD can look into them more easily and discuss them more fully?

Best wishes :)
Paula
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Peageen,

Are you on any anti depressants and do you have any kids?  Panic girl was saying that her baby was aggressive at 4 mos, i don't know what she means by that.  Paxil is something i do believe i need in my life.  I am very hard to be around if i am not on medication.  I do believe i have a chemical imbalance.  I used to blame my mood behaviors on that i was a nut artist.  But, i have noticed alot of changes have been made since i have been helping myself with 20mg of Paxil. I really want a family and it's hard.  I'd rather be off this medicine but, i don't want my chemical imbalance to come back.  I pray alot.  Thanks for writing.
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Avatar_n_tn
Please do further searching into Paxil before becoming pregnant.  Thats all I can say.  Its going to be your life and the life of your child.  

I haven't been pregnant on Paxil and would never become so after the research studies I've read.  

BUT.... maybe coming off paxil slowly would be a little easier for you if you had a goal like bringing new life into the world, and I wish you all the best :)

Paula
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hi

i agree with what your saying but, it is isn't easy coming off any drugs and i don't think i want to.  for i feel much better with who i am now.  i do want kids very badly.  i do see a therapist who is an MD.  she said, paxil is fine to be on while pregnant.  but, me myself will always wonder and hope i'm doing the right thing.  it's very hard.  if i came off of this drug, i believe i would be where i was before and i probably would have to stay at my house rather than to go out.  and i don't work from home.  i work with 3's at a daycare.  i am not trying to be negative here but, i know i felt before.  and if i were to become pregnant and be off paxil it would be very hard.plus, i don't want to feel all this anxiety while pregnant.  i'm really goina have to talk to my ob gyn but, i hope everything goes well.  Keep me in your prayers.  thanks for writing.
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OK, I understand and sympathize with your situation.  And hope that it all goes well with you.  But Paxil doesn't have the worst up and coming withdrawal effects for no reason and I wonder if maybe there's a safer drug you could take instead of Paxil?  A non SSRI?  I don't know cos I haven't looked into it from a pregnancy point of view.  I DO know Peter Breggin has written books about stuff to do with children as well as adults, so maybe if you could contact him and ask his advice?  He's an expert on SSRIs and so probably has a pretty good understanding of other drugs too?    ***@****

I know also that both he and his partner are both very caring people and I'm pretty sure he would give you the best advice he could.

All the best hun.

Paula x
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank You so much, Paula.

You are so kind.  I appreciate you writing and giving me more info.  I will definetly write him.  God Bless, Keegan
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Avatar_n_tn
You're very welcome.  When my withdrawals started the symptoms terrified me.  Other people on support boards gave me information that explained what was happening and they have followed through with support and kind reassurance and still do so when I get fed up with it all.  Its the least I can do to pass that help on - suppose it could be seen as some sort of repayment plan LOL?  

I hope Peter or Ginger Breggin can give you some real help on this particular 'pregnancy' issue (or that they can recommend someone who can) and maybe it won't be long before you'll be sitting, playing, out with your child/ren looking back on this time as just some bad old period that has long gone.  

Anyway, in the meantime - I think I missed out another section of studies, but they're on PROZAC.  All SSRIs are clones of Prozac, but I don't know whether the slight differences in the chemical compounds or something would make a difference re Paxil instead of Prozac.  LOL I wish I was a scientist - that way I'd understand it all better :}  OK, Here goes:


"15) PRENATAL exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac) produces site-specific & age-dependent ALTERATIONS in BRAIN serotonin transporters in rat progeny
Evidence from autoradiographic studies.
Cabrera-Vera TM, Battaglia G.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1998 Sep;286(3):1474-81.

The results of this study show that prenatal exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (Prozac) induces changes in the density of brain serotonin transporters in rats, which are particularly evident in regions of the limbic system, such as the hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdala. These data indicate that fluoxetine alters brain function in rats exposed to the drug while in uterus.

16) PREGNANCY outcome following first-trimester exposure to fluoxetine.
Pastuszak A, Schick-Boschetto B, Zuber C, Feldkamp M, Pinelli M, Sihn S, et al.
JAMA 1993 May 5;269(17):2246-8.

The results of this study show that women who use the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) in the first trimester of pregnancy have approximately a 2-fold increased risk of miscarriage, compared to nonusers.

17) BIRTH outcomes in pregnant women taking fluoxetine.
Chambers CD, et al.
N Engl J Med, 335(14):1010-5 1996 Oct 3.

This study evaluated pregnancy outcome of women who took the antidepressant fluoxetine (a serotonin uptake inhibitor) while expecting, and compared it to that of women who did not take the drug. In infants exposed to the drug, the incidence of three or more minor anomalies was 15.5% vs. 6.5% in controls. Infants exposed to fluoxetine during the third trimester had, compared to those exposed only during the first and second trimester, reduced birth weight and length, an almost 5-fold increased risk of premature delivery, a 2.6-fold increased risk of being admitted to special-care nurseries, and an almost 9-fold increased risk of experiencing respiratory difficulties, cyanosis on feeding, and jitteriness."


Think I missed those cos I scanned down the list quickly and thought they were all grouped together under 40 something.

All the best and keep looking forward to the time you will be able to look back on all this.  Let me know if I can do anything else to help - you can always contact me at paula.***@****  if you can't see me around anywhere.

Lots of love to you and yours.
Peas xx
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Hi Paula,

Thanks for writing.  My email is: ***@****

Thanks for your email.  I will definetly write.  It's cool to meet new friends on this forum.  My therapist, MD did tell me two things which i do forget now.  I think one was the baby would sleep alot.  It would make me so sad to have a miscarriage knowing it was from taking paxil.  They say it isn't habit forming but, i don't believe it.  I was on effexor before for 6 yrs which i came off of that in the summer of 2000.  And i felt awful coming off of that.  I felt very ill.  I really believe i have a chemical imbalance though.  I've never had this anxiety until a few mos ago.  And everyone said, Oh it's probably from you moving from an apt to a new house but, i don't know and i don't think it is.  Then i thought it could be from the Sept 11th thing but, no one i knew was in that.  But, still it is horrible.  And you hear stories.  I can't pin point it but, i was irritable alot and had a anger issue i was seeking counseling for but, no medicine.  Now, with taking paxil i feel like a new me.  Like this is how i should of been and this is who i really am.  I still get mad at things but, i actually handle the situation better.  And i have always self talked but, i don't know, it's weird you know?  I didn't want to rely on a drug.  I wonder what exactly is the ingredients in paxil to make that drug!  Interesting! Oh, and the breggins did write me back to check out one of their books.  I guess i could get that at Barnes n' Nobles.  Thanks. mimi
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hi everyone, i have been taking paxil for two years and finally feel like myself again.  I found out two wweks ago that i am pregnant.  my initial concern was whether i should continue on the paxil or not.  After spaking to my psychiatrist and ob, i found out that the baby will not be harmed by it.  however, I still feel guilty about possibly harming my baby or possibly having a miscarriage.  I initially decreased my doasage but immediately began to decompensate, i am now back on my regular doasage and slowly feeling better.  I want to be able to enjoy my pregnancy.  Please let me know what you have experienced in similar situations.
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Hi there. I just stumbled upon this board. I would like to share my story with you and see if anyone has any thoughts. Last August I finally, after suffering GAD and Panic for most my life, decided to "give in" and try Paxil. They moved me up to 40 fairly quickly and it seemed to work quite well. I had a few tolerable side effects but basically it was smooth sailing. Around the 1st of November we discovered that I was pregnant. We werent careful and this was an 'oops', but of course we were happy! I should mention we have 4 children, ages 9,6, nearly 4 and nearly 2. Anyhow I spent the months of November, December and January TRYING to get off Paxil. At first I went too quickly and had horrible physical symptoms from withdrawal. Then they put me back up and we started over and went slower, then when I hit under 20 again the awful, AWFUL withdrawal. I couldnt hardly get out of bed. You name it, physically I was just sicker than a dog. This was still going on when I went in for my 20 week ultrasound on Feb 15. Well, they couldnt find a heartbeat and I delivered a tiny stillborn girl 24 hours later. After having 4 healthy babies with no previous miscarriages I cant help but wonder if there isnt a connection to all the withdrawal and her death? I have read that other kinds of drug withdrawals can affect the oxygen supply to fetuses. They did a autopsy on her and showed no abnormalities at all. Also, I have read that second trimester loss, while it does happen, is relatively uncommon. Any thoughts anyone?
Thank You.
Tina Perry
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Does anyone know of the closest alternative to Paxil that might have more research concerning its affects on pregnancy and the baby?  I have been taking Paxil for 1 1/2 years and am very pleased with the results.  I attempted to get off of it last summer.  I did it slowly and did not have withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms but after a while my anxiety was back.  I would like to have a baby soon but with the high stress job that I have I feel like I need to stay on Paxil.
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This is a note to everyone that is thinking of becoming pregnant while on paxil.  I am 33 years old and have been taking 20mg of paxil once a day for 9 years.  I have tried going off paxil but realize that my body needs it for a chemical inbalance.  I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and I just gave birth to my second daughter 7 weeks agao.  My oldest daughter weighed 7lbs 9.5oz and is very brite and outgoing.  My youngest daughter weighed 8lbs 12.5oz and is very alert.  As far as sleeping alot I wish my oldest daughter had read that info.  She was and is still not a napper.  Both of my children are very healthy and happy.

I hope this has eased some minds.  If you have any questions, please ask.
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Avatar_n_tn
This is a note to everyone that is thinking of becoming pregnant while on paxil.  I am 33 years old and have been taking 20mg of paxil once a day for 9 years.  I have tried going off paxil but realize that my body needs it for a chemical inbalance.  I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and I just gave birth to my second daughter 7 weeks agao.  My oldest daughter weighed 7lbs 9.5oz and is very brite and outgoing.  My youngest daughter weighed 8lbs 12.5oz and is very alert.  As far as sleeping alot I wish my oldest daughter had read that info.  She was and is still not a napper.  Both of my children are very healthy and happy.

I hope this has eased some minds.  If you have any questions, please ask.
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I am 4 months pregnant and am on 20mg of Paxil. Just this week I tried to go down to 10mg and have gotten sick a number of times, have the rowdy's, and am crying constantly. Needless to say, last night I took 20mg because I cant take the withdrawals. You made me feel more at ease after reading your post. I feel like all I hear are the bad stories and no good ones. Did your baby need any additional care after being born like having to stay longer in the hospital? I hope you still look on this site because I could really use some positive advice.
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