Pregnancy: do antidepressants raise risk for autism spectrum disorders?

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  • Maternal depression and antidepressant use is associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), but association may be due to preexisting maternal psychiatric disorders and not teratogenicity.

Why this matters

  • Depression affects up to 15% of women during pregnancy.
  • Based on studies suggesting risk, antidepressant medications are often not used during pregnancy.
  • Preexisting maternal psychiatric disorders may be a major confounding factor affecting previous studies.

Key results

  • 6 case-controlled studies (117,737 patients) showed and association between antidepressant use during pregnancy and ASDs (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.49-2.20).
  • 4 studies on preconception use of antidepressants showed an asso...