Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring — Physician’s First Watch
Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring
By Amy Orciari Herman
Antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for psychiatric disorders in offspring — but whether the association is causal remains unclear — suggests a study in The BMJ.
Using Danish registries, researchers studied over 900,000 children born to 550,000 women between 1998 and 2012. The 15-year cumulative incidence of psychiatric disorders in offspring was as follows:
8% among children whose mothers didn't use antidepressants before or during pregnancy (unexposed group)
12% among those whose mothers used antidepressants before but not during pregnancy
14% among those whose mothers used antidepressants both before and during pregnancy
15% among those whose mothers started antidepressants during pregnancy
After adjustment, risks were higher in each exposed group versus the unexposed group. Moreover, risk was higher among children whose mothers continued taking antidepressants into pregnancy than among those whose mothers stopped treatment before pregnancy (hazard ratio, 1.27).
The researchers note that the associations "may be attributable to the severity of underlying maternal disorders in combination with antidepressant exposure in utero." They caution: "Our results do not confirm causality."