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Pregnancy study finds strong association between two antidepressants and heart anomalies
Date:11/24/2008

Women who took the antidepressant fluoxetine during the first three months of pregnancy gave birth to four times as many babies with heart problems as women who did not and the levels were three times higher in women taking paroxetine.

Although some of the conditions were serious, others were not severe and resolved themselves without the need for medical intervention, according to a three-country study in the November issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Researchers have advised women taking the drugs to continue unless they are advised to stop by their doctor or consultant. But they are being urged to give up smoking, as the study also found that more than ten cigarettes a day was associated with a five-fold increase in babies with major heart problems.

The team has also suggested that women on fluoxetine should be given a foetal echocardiogram in their second trimester to diagnose possible heart anomalies.

International researchers from Israel, Italy and Germany followed the pregnancies of 2,191 women - 410 who had taken paroxetine during pregnancy, 314 who had taken fluoxetine and 1,467 controls who hadn't taken either of the drugs.

"After we excluded genetic and cytogenic anomalies, we found a higher rate of major heart anomalies in the women who had been taking the antidepressants" says lead author Professor Asher Ornoy from the Israeli Teratology Information Service in Jerusalem, Israel.

"Further analysis showed a strong association between major heart anomalies and taking fluoxetine in the first trimester. Women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day also had more babies with heart anomalies."

Women taking paroxetine or smoking less than ten cigarettes a day also faced elevated risks, but not to the same extent.

The women had all contacted either the Israeli Teratology Information Service in Jerusalem, Israel, the Servizio di Informazione Teratologica
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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