Fetal growth affected by SSRIs in pregnancy
While the results are interesting, the authors caution that more long-term drug safety studies are needed before evidence-based recommendations can be given, and that no associations should be inferred as yet between SSRI use in pregnancy and developmental problems.
More than 7600 women took part in the prospective, population-based study in the Netherlands which matched SSRI use with depressive symptom scores and fetal growth and birth outcomes.
Some 7027 pregnant mothers had no or low depressive symptoms, 570 had clinically relevant depressive symptoms and did not use SSRIs, and 99 used SSRIs.
Results showed differing effects for untreated depression and SSRI use.
Untreated maternal depression was associated with slower fetal body (4.4g/week) and head growth.
Women with depression treated with SSRIs had fewer symptoms and no delay in fetal body growth, but did experience a more prominent delay in fetal head