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Free Content Antidepressants and Pregnancy: Continued Evidence of Harm—Still No Evidence of Benefit

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Abstract:

Antidepressant medication use during pregnancy is increasing. It is essential that women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and their health care providers be aware of the risks, benefits, and alternatives prior to taking these agents. The best available evidence suggests that antidepressant use by pregnant women may be associated with miscarriage, birth defects, preterm birth, decreased birth weight, neonatal behavioral syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn, neonatal electrocardiogram (EKG) changes, and behavioral effects. Evidence of benefit is lacking. The hope that improved maternal mood through medication would lead to better pregnancy results has not been realized; the antidepressant-exposed pregnancies are faring worse. The available evidence raises the question: Are we exposing a generation of women and their babies to drugs that are causing significantly more harm than good?

Keywords: ANTIDEPRESSANTS; DEPRESSION; PREGNANCY; SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.13.3.190

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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