Tag: SSRIs and birth defects
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.
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.
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.
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?