Between Antidepressants During Pregnancy and Later Risk of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children

The evidence on the association between antidepressant use during pregnancy and later risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children is mixed. Some studies have found an increased risk, while others have found no association.

A recent large study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in 2022, found no association between antidepressant use during pregnancy and later risk of ADHD, autism, and other neurodevelopmental disorders in children. The study followed more than 145,000 women and their children for as long as 14 years.

However, other studies have found an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy. For example, a study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2021 found that children exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy were at increased risk of ADHD and autism.

It is important to note that most of the studies on this topic have been observational studies. Observational studies cannot prove that antidepressants cause neurodevelopmental disorders, only that there is an association between the two.

More research is needed to confirm the findings of the observational studies and to determine the exact mechanisms by which antidepressants may affect fetal development.

If you are pregnant and considering taking antidepressants, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking antidepressants and make the best decision for you and your baby.

Here are some things to consider when making a decision about whether or not to take antidepressants during pregnancy:

  • The severity of your depression
  • The risks of untreated depression to you and your baby
  • The risks of taking antidepressants during pregnancy
  • The benefits of taking antidepressants during pregnancy

It is also important to note that there are other treatment options available for depression during pregnancy, such as therapy and lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor about all of your options to find the best treatment plan for you.

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