A new Quebec-based study finds that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. The study, based on an analysis of Quebec Pregnancy Registry data for 5,124 women, found a 1.68 times higher risk of miscarriage among women who were prescribed antidepressants.
Researchers also identified a relationship between higher average daily doses of two types of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), paroxetine and venlafaxine, during pregnancy and increased risk for miscarriage. Additionally, the use of more than one class of antidepressant medication doubled the risk for miscarriage.
Based on these findings, the researchers advise women requiring antidepressant therapy during pregnancy to consult physicians about possible risks. The findings are of note given that almost four percent of women will use antidepressants at some point during the first trimester of their pregnancy.
See “Use of Antidepressants during Pregnancy and the Risk of Spontaneous Abortion,” Canadian Medical Association Journal (published online May 31, 2010), available at www.cmaj.ca.