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News2013April › Two major drug groups cause autism › April 2013

Two major drug groups cause autism

Women who take some prescription drugs while pregnant dramatically increase the chances of autism in their child

Women who take some prescription drugs while pregnant dramatically increase the chances of autism in their child. Antidepressants and the epilepsy drug Epilim (valproate) have both been associated with the learning problem this week.
All antidepressants, including the newer generation of SSRIs, triple the chances of the child developing autism. A study of 1,700 children with autism discovered that even the supposed 'safer' non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors were just as likely to cause the problem if the mother took them while she was pregnant.
Women who suffer depression when they are pregnant should seek out non-drug therapies instead, say the researchers.
In a separate study, the anti-epilepsy drug valproate (Epilim) increases the risk of autism "significantly" if it's taken during pregnancy. Autism is the latest in the list of serious effects to the unborn child, including congenital malformation and delayed cognitive development.
(Sources: BMJ 2013; 346: f2059 (antidepressants); Journal of the American Medical Journal, 2013; 309: 1696-703 (valproate))

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