A new study appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found a 68 percent increase in the overall risk of miscarriage in pregnant women using popular antidepressants. Current statistics show that around 4 percent of women will use antidepressants at some point during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Most previous studies on the use of antidepressants in pregnancy did not look at miscarriages as a main outcome, had small samples and several showed contradictory results. This large study sought to determine the association between antidepressant use in pregnancy, including classes, types and doses, and the risk of miscarriage.
The study found that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), especially paroxetine and also venlafaxine, were associated with increased risk of miscarriage as were higher daily doses of either antidepressant. As well, a combination of different antidepressants doubled the risk of miscarriages.
"These results, which suggest an overall class effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are highly robust given the large number of users [over 5,000] studied," writes senior author Dr. Anick Bérard, from the University of Montreal. The researchers urge that physicians who have patients of child-bearing age taking antidepressants or have pregnant patients who require antidepressant therapy early in pregnancy discuss the risks with them.
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Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal