By On July 17th, 2008

Neonatal risks posed by mothers taking psychotropic drugs during pregnancy

Currently, there is very little known about neonatal risks posed by mothers taking psychotropic drugs during pregnancy. However, two studies have provided some new data on neonatal outcomes associated with psychotropic drugs. The following is an excerpt of an article from Journal Watch that discusses the findings:

Using large medical, demographic, and public drug insurance registries in Quebec, researchers focused on women with psychiatric diagnoses (mostly, mood or anxiety disorders) and antidepressant use for at least 1 month in the year before pregnancy. Researchers compared first-trimester antidepressant exposure and duration in 2140 healthy infants and 189 infants with any major congenital malformation in the year after birth. Antidepressants commonly used were paroxetine (42%), sertraline (15%), and venlafaxine (13%). The risk for congenital malformation (8%, vs. the usual population rate of 3%) was unrelated to first-trimester antidepressant use, its duration, or therapeutic class. Controlling for ethnicity and for drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, determined in 806 mothers, did not alter results.

Other researchers linked maternal and neonatal British Columbian health records to identify recipients of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor… <click here to read the rest of this article from Journal Watch>

Severe psychiatric conditions should be treated at the discretion of a psychiatrist and at the consent of an educated patient or guardian during pregnancy. However, due to the relatively little known effects of psychotropic drugs on neonatal outcomes cognitive-behavioral therapy should be considered by physicians as an alternative to addressing anxiety and depression during pregnancy.

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