Around 20% of all pregnant women suffer from some form of depression. Further more, many of them show tendency to irritable behaviour, tremors and seizures after childbirth. This has posed concerns and rouse questions about starting anti-depressant treatment during pregnancy.

A warning from the FDA comes after early findings of two studies about the drug Paxil and it’s negative effect on fetuses. The findings show that Paxil increases risk of congenital heart defects in newborns if taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. The risk was much higher in comparison to other forms of anti-depressants.

The studies showed that the risk of congenital heart defects is about 1% overall, which rose to 1.5 to 2% in infants born to women taking Paxil. After the announcement, the drug has been placed in the second highest category for risk of birth defects.

This selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor has been used by millions to treat depression, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric disorders since it was approved back in 1993. Women aged 18-45 make constitute 25% of the total number of Paxil users.

After these significant findings, new guidelines will be formulated on the Paxil usage.