Tag: pregnancy and antidepressants
Children exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy, a recent study shows, were diagnosed with depression by age 14 at more than four times the rate of children whose mothers were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder but did not take the medication. Such reports are usually met, appropriately, with an outpouring of reassurances from clinicians who take care of pregnant women, who need to protect their emotional wellbeing in whatever way they can. From my perspective as a pediatrician specializing in early childhood mental health our attention must be on prevention.
I have a complicated response to the article Panel Calls for Depression Screenings During and After Pregnancy, by Pam Belluck, in the January 26th New York Times, which calls for depression screening before and after pregnancy. On the face of it this sounds like a great idea - a public health measure to prevent or deal with problematic postpartum responses – baby blues, postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis.
What does screening mean, in the ever more prevalent field of Psychiatry? Psychiatric screening is not a biological metric that can be assumed to predict the future in a linear manner. It’s a series of subjective questions. It is, in short, a survey.
Antidepressants, Pregnancy, and Autism: Why Wouldn’t Antidepressant Chemicals Affect a Developing...
This week another study was published showing that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased rates of autism in the children. By my count, this is now the tenth study on this topic and it follows on the heels of previous studies – all of which found links between SSRI antidepressant use in pregnancy and autism in the offspring. Most of these studies were recently reviewed by Man, et al, who also concluded that SSRI antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with autism in the children. So we now have numerous studies in different human populations all showing a link between SSRI use in pregnancy and autism in the children. Yet, much of the news and blogosphere focus on casting doubts about these findings. What is going on here?
In a major study, published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics, the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 87-percent. Previous studies reveal that more than 13-percent of women currently use SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.