Indiana Psychological Association News

PsychBytes: Antidepressant Use during Pregnancy


Antidepressant Use during Pregnancy

A group of researchers at Indiana University, in collaboration with researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, analyzed data from more than 1.5 million infants to study the effect of prenatal exposure to antidepressants (82% of which were SSRIs) during the first trimester on neurodevelopment.  As one of the most comprehensive studies of prenatal exposure to antidepressant use to date, results indicated that their use is not associated with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, or poor fetal growth. Authors noted a unique strength of the study, highlighting that they compared siblings who were differentially exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy (i.e., one sibling was exposed, another was not exposed). Researchers concluded that other factors explain differences in neurodevelopment, rather than antidepressant exposure. They also noted that a mother's decision to use antidepressants, or to stop taking antidepressants, is a difficult decision and one that carries many risks and benefits; woman should consult with their physician before making any medication changes. 
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Maura L Rouse, PsyD, HSPP
Clinical Psychologist
Riley Child Development Center
Indiana University School of Medicine

"PsychBytes” is a weekly educational resource from the Indiana Psychological Association (IPA) provided for psychologists, their colleagues and their patients.