Paxil Exposed
Birth Defects

You take Paxil for anxiety disorder, expect a baby, or plan to get pregnant. Now it's time to take a look at how well the medication is really doing the job. Your baby's health and quality of life depend on it.

The depression medication is powerful. For clinical depression. It's anti-anxiety effect. And, may be THE reason you cope well with anxiety disorder.


Do let your doctor know you plan on getting pregnant. Or, discover you're expecting a baby.


There is a huge health risk for your unborn child.

A teratogen interferes with a baby's normal development. Causes birth defects. Paxil may be a teratogen.

The higher the dose...the stronger chances are of developing birth defects…terrifying ones.

Paxil...early pregnancy

There could be heart malformations...

  • Ventricular Septal Defect - VSD. A hole between the right and left areas of the heart. Blood is meant to flow to your baby's body. Instead, it seeps through the right area of the heart. Into the lungs. And, puts pressure on the lungs' blood vessels.


    The heart has to pump hard. It can swell. Permanent damage can occur in the lungs' blood vessels. Result? Your baby easily tires, has trouble eating. Doesn't gain easily weight.
  • Atrial Septal Defect - ASD. An opening in the wall (atrea) separates 2 upper sections of the heart.  Oxygen-rich blood, from the left, is meant to nourish the body. But, instead, leaks back into the right one, supposed to hold low-oxygen blood.

    The ooze creates a whispering sound – heart murmur.
  • Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Obstruction occurs when the pulmonary valve becomes too small for blood to get to the lungs. RVOTO can lead to pulmonary stenosis.

    The problem...

    Your baby's heart doesn't pump properly. Heartbeats are fast, out of sync. Arms and legs may swell. Blood can back up into the liver or intestines. There is fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath.

    Left untreated, the heart loses strength. Heart failure can develop.

More birth defects

  • Omphalocele involves intestines or other areas, such as the liver, to balloon. Out of your baby's belly button. Paxil increases this risk.


    A baby, who has omphalocele, has greater chances of having more birth defects.

Read on...

  • Anencephaly - Huge parts of the brain and skull are missing. Your baby can be born blind, deaf, unconscious. The defect can develop before you even know you're pregnant.
  • Gastroschisis - The abdominal wall doesn't close. Babies are born with parts of their gut out of the body.
  • Clubfoot, a foot deformity. One or both feet turn inward and downward. Left untreated, it won't go away. Gets worse, and can be crippling.


  • Genitourinary birth defects. Affects the bladder, kidneys. As well as, penis, testes or prostrate gland in boys. In girls, the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or vagina. 
  • Hypospadias - The urethra, a tube coming from the bladder, releases urine. In hypospadias, a baby boy's urethra doesn't extend to the tip of the penis. The opening appears somewhere underneath.
  • Respiratory Distress, such as apnea. It can stop on its own. But, in this case, your infant's breathing stops for more than 20 seconds at a time. It becomes alarming if this goes on after your baby is 2 weeks old. Acceptable pauses are about 3 seconds.  

Late pregnancy

Taking SSRIs in late pregnancy, makes the risk 4 to 5 times higher, of developing Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns PPHN.
Paxil is an SSRI. And, PPHN is serious trouble.

Arteries don't grow wide enough for blood (and oxygen) to get to your baby's lungs. And, shore up other vital organs. But, these choke from lack of oxygen.  

This condition is so dangerous, treatment is needed...right away.

Rethinking your treatment

If there's a time for honest discussion with your doctor about babies and Paxil, THIS IS IT.

Does it have a 5-star rating for relieving your depression? Anxiety disorder symptoms? No?

Consider re-thinking your treatment plan.

  • Other choices can help you breathe easier.

But, if you want to stick with the drug...

Grab all information and guidance your doctor offers:

  • Who helps if things go wrong.
  • For how long.
  • What kind of changes you and your family are in for.

Re-analysis of early studies regarding the drug has stirred up squabbling in the medical field. Some feel prior findings were misreported. Negative side effects miniaturized.


Keep probing. Till you find what feels right for you. You won't regret it.

Paxil can be a blessing for your anxiety disorder. And, be the depression help you've longed for. But, a baby changes the picture. Do you have a backup plan?

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