University Study Recommends Curtailing the Use of Antidepressants for Pregnant Women

Depression among pregnant women has been found to increase the risk for low birth-weight babies, premature birth, and may adversely impact the baby’s intellectual and physical development. As a result, many physicians prescribe antidepressant drugs for pregnant women who suffer from depression.

But a new study from researchers at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School finds that pregnant women who take antidepressant drugs and their babies fare worse than the women who take the drugs for depression. The results showed that pregnant women who take antidepressants were at greater risk for miscarriage, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, birth defects, and premature delivery.

The authors of the study, which was published in the journal Human Reproduction, recommend that pregnant women who suffer from depression be treated with non-pharmaceutical therapies such as an exercise program or cognitive behavioral therapy.

The long-term effects on the babies of women who took antidepressants while pregnant are not well known. But one study showed that these babies on average sat up 16 days later and walked 29 days later than babies of women who did not take antidepressants while pregnant.

The article may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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