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Antidepressants During Pregnancy: Safe?

SSRI Use During Pregnancy: Perspective

The inexact information about who exactly took the SSRIs is a problem, Urato says. "When exposure information is inexact ... the result is often that we do not find evidence of harm from the drug," he says, although harm may exist.

A woman prescribed an SSRI who does not take it and then has a good birth outcome is classified as taking an SSRI, contributing to the finding of no harm, he says.

Urato points to other research, including links with SSRI use and miscarriage, birth defects, and other problems.

"Depressed pregnant women need good care and treatment, but medication is not the only option for treatment," he says.

In 2009, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a joint report on treatment recommendations for depression during pregnancy. It suggests discussing the risks and benefits of antidepressants during pregnancy. It also suggests that psychotherapy may help women who prefer to avoid the drugs.

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