Saturday, April 29, 2006

Antidepressants Increase Stillbirth Risks

Antidepressants Increase Stillbirth Risks

A Canadian study of almost 5,000 mothers found that those who used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as antidepressants were more likely to give birth to stillborn, premature, and low birth weight babies. SSRIs, which include Prozac, work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Women on SSRIs were twice as likely to have a stillbirth, and almost twice as likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby. The babies born to women using SSRIs also had a greater likelihood of experiencing seizures.

This bears out previous studies, which have shown a similar risk of birth defects. One study showed that use of the drugs during the first three months of pregnancy caused a 40 percent increased risk of birth defects such as cleft palate. Another found that babies whose mothers used SSRIs were at risk of being born with withdrawal symptoms.
BBC News April 7, 2006

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