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Medical News and Perspectives
April 12, 2006

Antidepressants and Pregnancy

JAMA. 2006;295(14):1631-1633. doi:10.1001/jama.295.14.1631

Major depressive disorders occur in approximately 10% to 15% of women of childbearing age. Each year, millions of these women face a difficult decision: whether to stop taking antidepressants that may harm their unborn children. Studies over the years have investigated the potential effects that antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have on mothers and their newborns. Now, new research is adding information about the risks and benefits.

“Because depression is very common during the reproductive years, because so many of those patients are being treated for depression with antidepressants, and because a lot of pregnancies are unplanned, it's very important that these studies be done,” said Lee Cohen, MD, of the Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. He and others continue to add to the growing body of information that may be used to better tailor depression treatments for women.

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