Antidepressants during Pregnancy Increase the Risk of Autism

The exact factors responsible for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are yet to be fully understood by many, because of its complexity.

A recent study looked at antidepressants, being popularly used by women, especially the pregnant ones; and its influence on autism spectrum disorder. The researchers gathered that while various antidepressants can reduce some of the symptoms associated with depression, they can as well pose some undesired side effects.

“The question of whether to prescribe antidepressants during pregnancy is a difficult one. There are inferred risks to the unborn child, however, if the prescription is stopped, there are risks for the mother,” Medicalnews reports.

Research gathered that 1 in 10 pregnant mothers in the United States at some time takes antidepressants, and this has been accounted as one of the factors responsible for the increase in the cases of autism.

In the study 0.7% of the 145,456 children were diagnosed with autism after being tracked for an average of 6.24 years from birth. ScientificLion gathered that, even after adjusting for potential confounders, children of mothers who took antidepressants in the second and/or third trimester were 87% more likely to develop autism.

Researchers added that, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were especially dangerous, with children of mothers who took them during the second and/or third trimester 117% more like to develop autism.

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because serotonin is involved in numerous pre- and postnatal developmental processes, antidepressants that inhibit serotonin (particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors known as SSRIs) will have a negative impact on the ability of the brain to fully develop in-utero.

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