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Invited Commentary
November 2016

Neurodevelopmental Implications of Fetal Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Untreated Maternal DepressionWeighing Relative Risks

Author Affiliations
  • 1Ammon-Pinizzotto Center for Women’s Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(11):1170-1172. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2705

The last 20 years has seen an extensive examination of relevant research questions regarding the reproductive safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These have included studies describing the risk of developing teratogenesis (overall and specific malformations),1 transient neonatal adaptation syndromes, and problems such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).2 As an example of the evolution of interest in perinatal psychiatry, more than several hundred articles have been published during the last decade on the risk associated with first trimester exposure to SSRIs during pregnancy; the vast majority of these reports do not support a significant teratogenic risk.