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Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 10 Apr 2018 Antidepressants duri ...

Antidepressants during pregnancy increases depression risk in babies

Published Apr 10, 2018, 2:27 pm IST
Updated Apr 10, 2018, 2:27 pm IST
Taking such drugs during pregnancy has also been linked to autism.
Antidepressants during pregnancy increases baby's depression risk. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Antidepressants during pregnancy increases baby's depression risk. (Photo: Pixabay)

A new study warns pregnant women who take antidepressants could risk their child's emotional development, the Daily Mail reported.

Previous research has also linked antidepressant use to risk of autism during pregnancy.


Columbia University researchers found babies exposed to drugs like Prozac in the womb had differences in grey and white matter of their brains.

They found differences in neurons in the brain that are linked to feelings, which could lead to anxiety and depression.

The findings add to concerns about pregnant women using medications.

Medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), are prescribes to treat anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite evidence that drug’s effect developing fetuses, there has been an increase for prescriptions for this drug for pregnant women.

"To our knowledge this is the first study to report increased volumes of the amygdala and insular cortex - as well as increased connection strength between these two regions - in prenatally SSRI exposed infants," lead author Dr Claudia Lugo-Candelas, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, told the Daily Mail.

The results prompt researchers to further investigate the repercussions of this drug.

"The study highlights the need for further research on the potential long-term behavioural and psychological outcomes of these neuro-developmental changes," Dr Candelas told the Daily Mail.

Adding, "Because untreated prenatal maternal depression poses risks to both the infant and mother the decision to initiate, continue or suspend SSRI treatment remains a clinical dilemma."

The study is originally published in JAMA Pediatrics.