Los Angeles Times
By Thomas H. Maugh II
May 31, 2010
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of spontaneous abortions by about two-thirds, Canadian researchers reported Monday. The increased risk was greatest with the family of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), especially paroxetine and venlafaxine, and when more than one family of drugs were used.
Depression in women is most common during the child-bearing years, and estimates suggest that as many as 15% of pregnant women suffer from it. Because of fears about the effects of drugs, particularly psychiatric drugs, during pregnancy, only about 3.7% of women use them during the first trimester. Most studies looking at the use of antidepressants during pregnancy have focused on their effects on the fetus. Small studies of their effects on abortion have produced inconsistent results. Expecting mothers cannot routinely stop using the drugs, however, because that also presents risks to both the mother and the fetus.
Producing a controlled clinical trial examining the effects of the drugs is virtually impossible because few women would be willing to participate, experts said. The only way to get at the data is to examine it retrospectively.
In the new study, Dr. Anick Berard, director of the University of Montreal’s Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy at University Hospital Center Sainte-Justine used information from the Quebec Pregnancy Registry to identify 5,124 women who had a spontaneous abortions between 1998 and 2003 — before warnings about the risks of the drugs became more common — and compared them with about 10 times that many carefully matched women who did not have abortions. A separate database provided information about prescriptions the women had filled.
Read entire article: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/05/antidepressants-during-pregnancy-increase-risk-of-sponaneous-abortion-study-finds.html
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