Posted on 04/26/2017 in Gynecology

Antidepressants in Pregnancy

Use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy does not cause autism, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) new research shows.

Three studies demonstrate that antidepressant use in pregnant women is likely not responsible for autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children and that the association found in previous studies was likely due to confounding factors.

The researchers used sophisticated statistical methods to account for a variety of confounding factors. After controlling for these factors, they found that first-trimester antidepressant exposure, as compared to nonexposure, was associated with a "small increased risk of preterm birth," but not with increased risk for having small size for gestational age, ASD, or ADHD.

"Our study suggests that it is not the medication use during pregnancy per se that explains why children of mothers who use these medications have more problems than children whose mothers do not," Dr D'Onofrio told Medscape Medical News.

The study "suggests that it is not medication use during pregnancy that explains why children with gestational antidepressant exposure have more problems, but that there are an array of other genetic and environmental factors involved,"

The results of these studies tell us that if we weigh the risks and need to treat a pregnant woman with antidepressants, we should not be afraid of using them.

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