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November 9, 2005

Neonatal Signs After In Utero Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(18):2299-2301. doi:10.1001/jama.294.18.2299-c

To the Editor: Dr Moses-Kolko and colleagues1 reviewed the literature on neonatal signs after late in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). We are concerned about a statement in their conclusions regarding the similarity of neonatal behavioral syndrome to infantile colic. The 2 syndromes should be easily distinguishable clinically. Neonatal behavioral syndrome has an earlier onset, ends earlier (usually by 2-3 weeks, the time that typical infantile colic begins), and, in most cases, does not show the same pattern of fussy behavior confined to a certain time of day.2 Moreover, colicky infants generally do not exhibit the other signs associated with neonatal behavioral syndrome, such as neurological, respiratory, and gastrointestinal disturbances.1

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