Monday, February 19, 2018
Health

Antidepressant use during pregnancy linked to autism, study says

antidepressants

Study links use while pregnant to Child autism

Women who took a class of widely used antidepressants during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy were roughly twice as likely as those who did not to have a child who would later receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, a new study says.

The new research, published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, is among the strongest findings linking antidepressant use in pregnancy to poor outcomes in the children, experts said.

The findings emerged from a Canadian registry of 145,456 newborn children who were followed for an average of about six years. The medical records of the babies' mothers allowed researchers to look at whether and when the pregnant mothers took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — SSRIs that include medications marketed as Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro.

In the population as a whole, 0.7 percent of the registered babies (1,054) later received an autism diagnosis. Among the 2,532 babies whose mothers took an SSRI during her second and/or third trimester of pregnancy, 31 infants (or 1.2 percent) would be diagnosed with autism within their first six years of life.

Los Angeles Times (TNS)

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