To treat or not to treat: maternal depression, SSRI use in pregnancy and adverse neonatal effects.
ABSTRACT Recent pharmaceutical company and regulatory body circulars warning against the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in late pregnancy have left clinicians in somewhat of a quandary as to how to manage their more severely depressed patients in pregnancy. Conversely, up to 75% of depressed women ceasing their antidepressants periconceptually will relapse. Studies reporting on adverse neonatal outcomes following exposure to SSRIs in the latter half of pregnancy suggest that the fetus is exposed to significant concentrations of these medications during this time. Adverse neonatal effects affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological systems are, however, predominantly mild and self-limiting. One small retrospective case study suggests that SSRI exposure in the latter half of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the neonate (PPHN), however, the absolute risk of developing PPHN remains very small and these findings will require replication with a prospective study. While the studies to date suggest the need to closely monitor SSRI-exposed neonates in the immediate postnatal period, preferably with a neonatal withdrawal scale and access to neonatology services, there is currently no clear argument for women to be weaned off their SSRI in late pregnancy. The decision to use SSRIs at this time will have to be made on a case-by-case basis in close consultation with the mother and her partner.
- SourceAvailable from: Gillian E Hanley[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Depression, anxiety, or both, during pregnancy are common complications during the perinatal period, with 15-20% of women experiencing depression at some point during their pregnancy. Considerable evidence suggests that untreated or undertreated maternal Axis I mood disorders can increase the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and alter neurobehavioral development in utero. Serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants are often considered for antenatal therapy, with the goal of improving maternal mental health during pregnancy. Treatment with a serotonin-reuptake inhibitor, however, does not guarantee remission of depression, and in-utero serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure has also been linked to increased risks for adverse infant outcomes. In this chapter, evidence linking serotonin reuptake inhibitor use with an increased risk for postnatal adaptation syndrome, congenital heart defects, and neonatal persistent pulmonary hypertension is reviewed. Management decisions should include attention to the continuum of depression symptoms, from subclinical to severe major depressive disorder and the long-term developmental risks that might also be associated with pre- and postnatal exposure.Best practice & research. Clinical obstetrics & gynaecology 09/2013; · 1.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are considered safe and are frequently used during pregnancy. However, two case-control studies suggested an association between prenatal SSRI exposure with childhood autism. Aims To prospectively determine whether intra-uterine SSSRI exposure is associated with childhood autistic symptoms in a population-based study. Method A total of 376 children prenatally exposed to maternal depressive symptoms (no SSRI exposure), 69 children prenatally exposed to SSRIs and 5531 unexposed children were included. Child pervasive developmental and affective problems were assessed by parental report with the Child Behavior Checklist at ages 1.5, 3 and 6. At age 6, we assessed autistic traits using the Social Responsiveness Scale (n = 4264). Results Prenatal exposure to maternal depressive symptoms without SSRIs was related to both pervasive developmental (odds ratio (OR) = 1.44, 95% CI 1.07-1.93) and affective problems (OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.15-1.81). Compared with unexposed children, those prenatally exposed to SSRIs also were at higher risk for developing pervasive developmental problems (OR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.13-3.47), but not for affective problems. Children prenatally exposed to SSRIs also had more autistic traits (B = 0.15, 95% CI 0.08-0.22) compared with those exposed to depressive symptoms only. Conclusions Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children. Prenatal depressive symptoms without SSRI use were also associated with autistic traits, albeit this was weaker and less specific. Long-term drug safety trials are needed before evidence-based recommendations are possible.The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 08/2014; 205(2):95-102. · 6.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Infants are at risk of developing symptoms of Poor Neonatal Adaptation (PNA) after exposure to psychotropic drugs in utero. Such symptoms are largely similar after exposure to antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines and consist of mostly mild neurologic, autonomic, respirator and gastro-intestinal abnormalities. Most symptoms develop within 48 hours after birth and last for 2-6 days. After exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), mirtazapine or venlafaxine in utero, breastfeeding is presumably protective for development of PNA. The dosage of antidepressants does not seem to be related to the risk of PNA. In order to objectify possible symptoms of PNA, observation of mother and child at the maternity ward is advisable. If PNA symptoms do not occur, an observation period of 48-72 hours is sufficient. This applies to all types of psychotropic drugs. When PNA symptoms are present it is advisable to observe the infant until the symptoms are fully resolved. Observation can be performed by trained nurses using the Finnegan scoring list. This observation list should be administered every 8 hours. Interpretation of the scores should be carried out by a paediatrician. In most cases symptoms are non-specific. Therefore other diagnoses, such as infection or neurologic problems, have to be excluded. When there is any doubt on possible intoxications during pregnancy, toxicological urine screening is indicated. Most cases of PNA are mild, of short duration and self-limiting without need for treatment. Supporting measures such as frequent small feedings, swaddling and increase of skin to skin contact with the mother is usually sufficient. In case of severe PNA it is advised to admit the infant to the Neonatal Care Unit (NCU). Phenobarbital is a safe therapeutic option. There seem to be no major long term effects; however, additional studies are necessary in order to draw definite conclusions.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2013; 9:1257-1266. · 2.15 Impact Factor