Tag: psychiatric drugs and pregnancy
Psychostimulant prescriptions have increased by 344% (from 2003 to 2015) for women of reproductive age (15-44 years old).
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.
According to the CDC, January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. New research continues to link various SSRI antidepressants with birth defects and neurological abnormalities in newborns. The latest study to examine this topic, a meta-analysis led by Dr. Anick Bérard, found a 23% increased risk for birth defects, and a 28% increased risk for heart problems, in the infants of women who took the SSRI Paxil (paroxetine) during their first trimester.