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From The JAMA Network
April 18, 2017

Association Between Maternal Use of SSRI Medications and Autism in Their Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, Benioff Children’s Hospitals, University of California, San Francisco

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(15):1568-1569. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.20614

In the February 2016 issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Boukhris and colleagues1 reported that in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) was associated with a significantly increased risk for autism. The authors examined all pregnancies from 1998 to 2009 in the Québec Pregnancy/Children Cohort database that resulted in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as the primary outcome. Among 145 456 full-term infants included in the analysis, 1054 children were diagnosed with ASD by the mean age of 6.2 years (SD, 3.2 years) at follow-up, including 1008 cases of ASD among 140 732 children (0.72%) who were not exposed to antidepressants, and 31 cases of ASD among the 2532 (1.2%) children who were exposed to SSRIs during the second or third trimester. Based on these results, the authors concluded that second- or third-trimester exposure to SSRIs was associated with increased risk for ASD (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.15-3.04).

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