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SSRI antidepressants cause miscarriage and preterm birth

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Pregnant women often suffer from depression-but they shouldn’t be given an SSRI antidepressant. The drugs can cause miscarriage, preterm birth, complications and long-term neurological problems, including autism, in the child.
Doctors should prescribe the drugs only with great caution, if at all, and should explain all the possible risks to the woman before she agrees to take an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), say researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The research team discovered that there is a very real risk for pregnant women taking an SSRI-and yet there is no evidence the drugs even help ease depression.
There’s a strong association between pregnancy and depression, and an even stronger one among women undergoing infertility treatment, such as IVF. Around 11 per cent of women having treatment take an SSRI, and it may even be the drug that is reducing the woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
If they do succeed, they are more likely to suffer a miscarriage, and their child could have congenital abnormalities, such as heart defects that have been associated with the SSRI, Paxil.
The biggest worry is preterm births, however. More than 30 studies have discovered a direct link to the drug.
(Source: Human Reproduction, 2012; doi: 10.1093/humrep/des383. First published online: October 31, 2012).

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