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Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications are used to treat depression and other disorders. Some of the most popular SSRI antidepressants are:
- Paxil (paroxetine) is used to treat depression, panic attacks, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and phobias.
- Zoloft (sertraline) is used to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
- Lexapro (escitalopram) is used to treat depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
- Celexa (citalopram) is used to treat depression, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and OCD.
Birth Defects and Fetal Harm Due to Use of Antidepressant Medication in Pregnancy
In 2006, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that there is an increased risk of primary pulmonary hypertension or PPH in newborns whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.
The FDA has warned women to avoid Paxil during pregnancy because women who took Paxil during the first trimester were 1 1/2 to 2 times more likely to give birth to a child with a heart defect. SSRI antidepressants may also be linked to other birth defects such as cleft palate, cardiac defects, and may increase the risk of premature birth.