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Husband taking paroxetine can cause birth defects ?

Patient: Paroxetine birth defects. Am taking paroxetine 10mg for the past 1 year and we are planning for second baby. We are concerned that taking Paxil will lead to birth defects in newly born babies even if I stop Paxil now and plan for baby after 3-6 months, please advise



Symptoms: No symptoms



Doctor: Hello,Thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,If you as a husband has been on paroxetine since last one year, t hen you need not be afraid at all as this drug doesn’t cause any defect in sperm motility, morphology or constitution or for that matter causes any genetic transition in them, so there are no chances of you as the male partner being the reason for any birth defects in your future babies.The concern would have been if your partner, the lady would have been on paroxetine and then you guys were planning pregnancy. In that case chances of birth defects would have been higher. For info:-FDA showed that women who took Paxil or paroxetine during the first three months of pregnancy were about one and a half to two times as likely to have a baby with a heart defect compared with women who took other antidepressants or women in the general population. Most of the heart defects reported in these studies were of the type known as atrial and ventricular septal defects (holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart). These types of heart defects can range in severity from relatively minor that resolve without treatment to those that cause serious symptoms and need to be repaired surgically.So if you, the husband has been on medication, then you may safely plan for baby without any such fears.I hope i have answered your query in detail,Wishing you good health,Regards

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Can I know for how long the drug stays in my blood stream.
I have read that there are side effects for the sperm mobility and DNA fragmentation . Please let us know if this would effect any chromosomes of the sperm due to which there could be any birth defects.

Doctor: the drug can stay in system for as long as 5-7 days till traces are removed. I have not read about DNA fragmentation or sperm dysmotility, but even if there is those sperms would not be able enough to travel and fertilise the oval at all and hence not able to impregnante her.
you may get a sperm analysis done to check the same and review the reports.


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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