Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Antidepressants and birth problems

Exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants late in pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of lower birth weight, respiratory distress, seizures, jitteriness and irritability in up to 30% of exposed infants, compared with early prenatal exposure. A Canadian study of 3,500 women and their babies looked into the links between the timing of prescription of SRIs and problems with the babies. The study found that it was the length of time the women had been taking the drugs rather than the timing of the prescription that was linked to an increased risk of neonatal respiratory distress, low birth weight and reduced gestational age. The link remained the same, even allowing for maternal illness and medication dose.

Oberlander, Tim F. ... [et al] - Effects of timing and duration of gestational exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants: population-based study British Journal of Psychiatry May 2008, 192(5), 338-343

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