Children whose mothers consumed antidepressants during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of affective disorders

A published article in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology showed that children whose mothers had consumed antidepressants during pregnancy were at a potentially increased risk of affective disorders.

The study, conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine, investigated more than 40,000 infants born between 1998 to 2011, determining if exposure to antidepressants in the womb was associated with a higher risk of affective disorders in the child.

From the study: “Children were categorised into two groups according to maternal antidepressant use within 2 years before and during pregnancy: continuation (use before and during pregnancy) or discontinuation (use before but not during pregnancy). The outcome was an affective disorders diagnosis in the offspring based on secondary/tertiary care records and primary care prescription data.”

“To consider confounding by shared environmental or genetic factors, we investigated the effect of paternal antidepressant use on the risk for affective disorders. Affective disorders were diagnosed in 1538 children. Children whose mothers continued antidepressants during pregnancy had an increased risk of affective disorder,” the study also found.

In spite of the findings, it can be determined that maternal antidepressant use may be associated with a higher risk of affective disorders in the offspring. As a result, the results of the study warrant further research.

The study was authored by Anna-Sophie Rommel, Natalie C. Momen, Nina Maren Molenaar, Xiaoqin Liu, Trine Munk-Olsen, and Veerle Bergink.

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