Researchers: Antidepressants Increase Risks For Pregnant Women

BOSTON (CBS Connecticut) – Researchers learn that antidepressants could increase the risk of multiple birth complications if taken by pregnant women.

CBS News reports about a new study claiming that pregnant women suffering from depression who took  certain forms of medication for their condition experienced an elevated risk of premature births, miscarriages and other health complications affecting both the child and mother.

“Preterm birth is, perhaps, the most pressing obstetrical complication,” the authors were additionally quoted as saying in a press release.

In the release, researchers asserted that antidepressants should be taken or prescribed during pregnancy “only [when] prescribed [and] with great caution.”

Researchers, including senior author Adam Urato, MD, who according to CBS News is both chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center and a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Tufts Medical Center, highlighted three main points in their findings.

He noted, “First, there is clear and concerning evidence of risk with the use of the SSRI antidepressants by pregnant women, evidence that these drugs lead to worsened pregnancy outcomes. Second, there is no evidence of benefit, no evidence that these drugs lead to better outcomes for moms and babies.”

Urato’s third point highlighted the need to inform not only obstetricians  but patients and the public as well.

The study specifically warned against taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and aimed to shed light on an area reportedly lacking in definition.

“Depression and infertility are two complicated conditions that more often than not go hand in hand. And there are no definitive guidelines for treatment,” says lead author Alice Domar, Ph.D, said. “We hope to provide a useful analysis of available data to better inform decisions made by women and the providers who care for them.”

Domar serves as executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF and works with both the Obstetrics and Gynecology department of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to the release.

The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction last month.

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