Prenatal depression and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A review of the literature suggests mixed findings on the effects of prenatal antidepressants. Although the critical question is the relative effects of depression versus antidepressants during pregnancy, randomized control studies do not exist for this comparison. Instead, nondepressed, nontreated control groups have been used for comparisons. Separate studies suggest that both untreated depression and exposure to antidepressants have been associated in some cases with unfavorable outcomes. Studies on long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes for children have also been inconclusive. Another problem for the mother and fetus is the discontinuation of antidepressants. Research on the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) suggests that late pregnancy exposure may have worse effects than first and second trimester exposure, leading to the neonatal abstinence syndrome. Still other data suggest a dual syndrome of abstinence/withdrawal and of serotonergic overstimulation, with symptoms of the two syndromes being very similar. Several confounding factors have contributed to this mixed literature including the already mentioned lack of a depressed, nonantidepressant control group as well as group variability on the types of SSRIs taken and severity of their effects, and limited longitudinal follow-up data. Future research would not only need to correct these problems but also further explore the different trimester effects and the withdrawal versus serotonin activity effects on the infant. In addition, alternative therapies need to be explored for their potential antidepression effects on the pregnant woman, the fetus, and the neonate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Volume120
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Fingerprint

Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Antidepressive Agents
Depression
Fetus
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Serotonin Agents
Pregnancy
Control Groups
Second Pregnancy Trimester
First Pregnancy Trimester
Complementary Therapies
Pregnant Women
Mothers
Newborn Infant
Research

Keywords

  • Alternative therapies
  • Antidepressants-exposure
  • Prenatal depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Prenatal depression and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. / Field, Tiffany M.

In: International Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 120, No. 3, 01.04.2010, p. 163-167.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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