Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors during Pregnancy and Risk of Autism

Published December 19, 2013 in New England Journal of Medicine

In the past, studies have raised concern about an association between the use of a certain type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders in the child. A new study now shows no significant association between maternal use of SSRIs during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in the child. However, the children were at a higher than usual risk of being diagnosed with autism if their mother had taken the drugs for depression or anxiety prior to the pregnancy, suggesting a possible link between the mother’s preexisting mental health condition and the child’s development of an ASD.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301449

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