Antidepressants, Not Depression, Raise Risk of Preeclampsia in Pregnancy


In a study of 69,448 pregnant women with depression, researchers from the Harvard school of public health found that use of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) during pregnancy were associated with a 1.22% greater chance of preeclampsia, SNRI (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) with a 1.95% greater chance, and TCA (tricyclic antidepressants) with a 3.23% greater chance. If the women had used these drugs prior to pregnancy, the chances of preeclampsia rose to 1.32%, 3.43%, and 3.26% respectively. Results will appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Abstract → 

Palmsten, K. Setoguchi, S. et al; “Elevated Risk of Preeclampsia in Pregnant Women With Depression: Depression or Antidepressants?American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(10) 988-997


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]