Recent evidence has shown that prenatal maternal stress has negative consequences for the mental health of the adult organism. Our aim was to examine the efficacy of using the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, paroxetine, to alleviate the symptoms of prenatal maternal stress in Fisher 344 rats. Pregnant rats were subjected to daily restraint stress and concurrent paroxetine treatment (10 mg/kg p.o.) during the last week of gestation. Maternal paroxetine treatment led to a shortened gestational length, reduced birth weight and a 10-fold rise in neonatal mortality in both stressed and non-stressed litters. These results reiterate the need for further research on the effects of paroxetine treatment during gestation.
van den Hove, D. L., Blanco, C. E., Scheepens, A., Desbonnet, L., Myint, A. M., Leonard, B. E., Prickaerts, J. H. H. J., & Steinbusch, H. W. M. (2008). Prenatal maternal paroxetine treatment and neonatal mortality in the rat: a preliminary study. Neonatology, 93(1), 52-55. https://doi.org/10.1159/000106433