Healthcare providers do not usually recommend taking Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate) during pregnancy. The medication has been associated with health problems in the infant, especially if taken during the first trimester. However, it may still be prescribed to a pregnant woman if her depression is not responding to other treatments. If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Category D is a classification given to medicines that have been shown to present a risk to the fetus in studies of pregnant women but may still offer benefits that outweigh the risks the drug presents. A pregnancy Category D medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
When Pexeva is taken in the first trimester, it may cause heart problems in the fetus, such as septal defects (a hole in the wall of the heart). These heart problems may be minor and may correct themselves, or they may be severe enough to require surgery.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
Yonkers KA, Wisner KL, Stewart DE et al. The management of depression during pregnancy: A report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009; 114: 703-713.
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