Antidepressants During Pregnancy May Pose Health Risk, Study Says

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy could pose serious health risks to both mother and child, according to a recent study.

CBS News reports new data has revealed that taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy could lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and health problems. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro are popular SSRIs prescribed by doctors.

In addition to uncovering the possible health risks antidepressants may pose for pregnant women, researchers also founds that SSRIs are essentially no more effective than placebo pills for treating depression during pregnancy. The study was recently published in Human Reproduction.

Study author Dr. Adam Urato said that three important things were gleaned from the research.

“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,” he explained. “Second, there is no evidence of benefit, no evidence that these drugs lead to better outcomes for moms and babies. And third, we feel strongly that patients, obstetrical providers, and the public need to be fully aware of this information.”

According to FOX 13 Utah, Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, believes that not treating women with extreme depression during pregnancy could be a very risky venture.


“Yes, there are issues with using antidepressants during pregnancy, but they are not putting this in any sort of context,” she explained. “They didn’t even give a nod to [the fact that] there may be cases when you need to use antidepressants during pregnancy, and I find that irresponsible.”

Dr. Payne added that women who are depressed while pregnant do not eat and sleep as they should. What’s more, those suffering from depression are less likely to follow through with prenatal care.

Dr. Urato explained to HealthDay that the study doesn’t say women shouldn’t be treated for depression during pregnancy. Instead, the research is there to help those suffering from depression make informed, educated decisions in regards to treatment.

Do you think women should take antidepressants while pregnant?