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The Pediatric Forum
June 2003

Perinatal Outcome Following Third-Trimester Exposure to Paroxetine: An Alternative Interpretation

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(6):601. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.6.601-a

In a controlled cohort study, Costei et al1 reported higher rates of neonatal complications (mainly respiratory distress) and prematurity with third-trimester maternal use of paroxetine and raised the question whether other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors cause neonatal complications similar to those reported in the study. We wish to interpret their findings within the context of other data. In a larger study, Chambers et al2 reported higher rates of prematurity, admission to special-care nurseries, and poor neonatal adaptation (including respiratory distress) associated with third-trimester exposure to fluoxetine. Another study has linked third-trimester exposure to fluoxetine to higher rates of perinatal complications but 4 other studies have not.3

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