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Comment & Response
July 2016

Prenatal Antidepressant Use and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(7):712-713. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0730

To the Editor A media frenzy was caused by a JAMA Pediatrics article by Boukhris et al,1 which described an association between maternal exposure to antidepressant during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring. Although the published article was very careful not to imply causality, its Abstract stated that the “use of antidepressants during the second and/or third trimester increases the risk of ASD in children,”1 which is misleading. Press releases and interviews further implied causality and the need to switch to other treatment options in pregnant women, although the risks of untreated depression during pregnancy were acknowledged.1,2

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