A new study released by the Oxford Journal Human Reproduction suggests that women who take a popular class of anti-depressants may be risking the health of their unborn fetus.
According to the article the use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibiters (SSRIs) such as Paxil, Celexa, Prozac, and Zoloft during pregnancy can increase the possibility of miscarriage, pre-term birth and pregnancy complications such as neuro-behavioral conditions like autism. “”There is clear and concerning evidence of risk when pregnant women use these medications,” said Dr. Adam Urato, who spearheaded the study.
Additionally, Urato said that there is no definitive evidence that SSRI anti-depressants are effective for a mother in terms of alleviating mild-to-moderate depression.
According to the study, anti-depressants are the most prescribed medication among adults 18-44 with 13 percent of pregnant mothers taking some form of anti-depressant. The research indicates that SSRIs might actually impair women’s effort to get pregnant as well as increase the likelihood of miscarriage in the women who do get pregnant. The strongest correlation was for the use of Paxil during pregnancy and congenital heart conditions.
There are alternatives for pregnant mothers who are battling depression. According to Alice Domar therapeutic interventions such as acupuncture, psychology, nutrition and restorative yoga are just as effective for mothers suffering from mild-to-moderate depression.
Urato added, “We’re not saying women should not take SSRIs. The goal is to give them information so they can make the right decision for them.”