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Depression Drugs given to Pregnant Mothers May Affect Newborn Babies – Infants Withdraw From SSRIs

February 6th 2006

Depression Drugs given to Pregnant Mothers May Affect Newborn Babies – Infants Withdraw From SSRIs

SSRIs

Concerns for women taking Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) while pregnant were addressed in a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  This is one of the archive journals of the American Medical Association. 

According to the researchers, infants born to mothers that took SSRIs show signs of withdraw shortly after birth.  The journal states that “Almost one-third of 60 newborn infants whose mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy experienced neonatal abstinence syndrome, a type of withdrawal with symptoms that include high-pitched crying, tremors and disturbed sleep.”  The authors say that infants born to mothers taking SSRIs while pregnant, should be monitored closely after birth for a minimum of 48 hours.

 

As many as one fourth of all women will develop depression some time in their life.  The stress of becoming pregnant can worsen the condition.  This stress may increase the need for medication.  The article says that SSRIs are the most commonly used class of antidepressants, and these drugs can cross the placenta barrier and may affect the fetus.

The researchers from Children’s Medical Center of Israel examined 120 babies born between January 1st 2002 and August 31st 2004 at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel.  Of the 120 babies, 60 of them were exposed to SSRIs.  They were assessed for two hours after birth and again at regular intervals. 

 

They found that 18 of the exposed infants (30 percent) had neonatal abstinence syndrome.  They had tremors, gastrointestinal problems, an abnormal increase in muscle tone (hypertonicity), sleep disturbances or high-pitched cries.  Eight of these children had “severe” cases of the syndrome.  None of the infants had symptoms that required treatment.  None of the 60 infants that were not exposed had the syndrome. 

This concerned the authors who say this should be brought to the attention of family physicians, psychiatrists and gynecologists. "Because maternal depression during pregnancy also entails a risk to the newborn, the risk-benefit ratio of continuing SSRI treatment should be assessed."  They recommend doctors prescribe the “minimum dose and number of drugs that would be effective” for the mother’s condition. 

Here is an article concerning similar subject matter:  Pregnant Women should Keep Taking Antidepressants to Avoid Relapse of Depression - Pregnancy Hormones Don't Protect  - Study

 
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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

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Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM