The safety of antidepressant use in pregnancy
ABSTRACT Depression during pregnancy affects an estimated 10 - 20% of women, some of whom will require treatment with antidepressants. It is of great importance that the safety of this particular class of drugs is reviewed, to ensure the optimal treatment of the mother while protecting her unborn child. In this review, current safety data on all available antidepressants are discussed in detail, including the pharmacokinetics of the maternal-fetal unit and the epidemiological studies that have been published to date. The classes of antidepressants discussed include: tricyclics, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and other antidepressants. After reviewing these studies, it is evident that these drugs appear to be relatively safe to take during pregnancy. This evidence-based information will be helpful to women and their healthcare providers, when the decision of whether or not to treat with anti-depressants during pregnancy must be made.
- SourceAvailable from: William R Marchand
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this review was to assess existing information about the long-term neurocognitive development of children whose mothers took SSRIs during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. The available literature consists of 11 studies (examining a total of 306 children) that demonstrate no impairment of infant neurodevelopment following prenatal and/or postnatal exposure to SSRIs, and two studies (examining 81 children) that suggest possible unwanted effects of fetal SSRI exposure. These unwanted effects included subtle effects on motor development and motor control. Thus, the available data are not unanimous in excluding possible long-term detrimental neurodevelopmental sequelae of intrauterine exposure to SSRIs. However, it is clear that the research suggesting a lack of adverse events on infants' neurocognitive development is much more numerous and methodologically better conducted than the studies showing possible unwanted effects. Nevertheless, all reviewed studies had procedural inadequacies, and the screening instruments used have limitations, especially in the evaluation of infants. Furthermore, it is not advisable to extend the generalisations emerging from the findings of a few trials to every infant. Some infants may experience difficulties in metabolising the drugs and/or their metabolites, so the benign outcome described for most infants may not occur. Thus, the findings emerging from the reports are inconclusive and are not able to fully clarify the repercussions of maternal SSRI treatment on infants' long-term neurocognitive development. Further large, simple and well designed, randomised, prospective studies will be required for this purpose. These should also be of adequate length and performed using reproducible neurophysiological parameters in order to firmly establish the safety of these medications.CNS Drugs 02/2005; 19(7):623-33. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: On Aug 9th 2004 Health Canada released an advisory, which followed a similar one from the FDA regarding the use of SSRI’s and other antidepressants during pregnancy and potential adverse effects on newborns. In neither advisory was it stated that women should discontinue their antidepressant. In the seven days following the release of this advisory, The Motherisk Program received 49 calls from anxious women in response to the media reporting of this information. Objective: To examine the impact of the advisory and subsequent reporting in the media, on the decision -making of women, currently taking an antidepressant, who called The Motherisk Program after becoming aware of this information. Methods: We attempted to follow up all the women who had called us who were alarmed by this advisory and asked them to complete a specially designed questionnaire. Results: We were able to complete 43/49 (88%) follow-ups of the women who contacted us. All of the callers reported that the messages in the media caused a great deal of anxiety. Seven misunderstood the advisory, ie their children were more than 1 year old, five had discontinued their antidepressant (3 abruptly (2 later restarted after speaking with Motherisk counsellors )and 2 with some form of tapering off) and(6) were considering discontinuation, but decided to continue following reassurance from Motherisk Conclusion: Medical information regarding fetal and infant safety, disseminated in the public domain, should be transferred in a way that does not influence a pregnant woman to make decisions that may not be in the best interest of hers or her child’s health.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 02/2005; 5(1). DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-5-11 · 2.15 Impact Factor