ADHD linked to antidepressants in pregnancy

A team led by Dr Roy Perlis at the Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the medical records of 1377 children in New England who had been diagnosed with autism and 2243 who had been diagnosed with ADHD. The groups were matched against three times as many healthy controls. 

All the children were linked with maternal health data to determine prenatal medication exposures. 

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy was associated with the risk of autism in the offspring but the link was no longer significant once a maternal history of severe depression was taken into account.

A similar association emerged between ADHD and antidepressants in pregnancy. However, the risk remained even when the severity of maternal depression was considered.

The women had been treated with medications such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, and typical and atypical antipsychotics.

"This risk, modest in absolute terms, may still be