A group of Yale researchers has concluded that the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) in pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth. They performed a prospective cohort study of 2,793 pregnant women and extracted data on birth outcomes from hospital charts. Use of an SRI, both with and without a major depressive episode, was associated with preterm birth, defined as birth at 34 to 36 weeks gestation. A major depressive episode without SRI use had no clear effect on preterm birth risk. Their results were published online May 25 in Epidemiology.
A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that--for depressed pregnant women--both continuous SSRI exposure and continuous untreated depression were associated with preterm birth rates exceeding 20%. Read more in Psychiatric News here.
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