Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Antidepressants in Pregnancy & Lung Risk in Babies

But, overall risk of 'persistent pulmonary hypertension' remains low, study finds


Treatments are available for persistent pulmonary hypertension, and most babies with the condition do well, according to Grigoriadis. But, she said that long-term risks are an area that needs more research.

The new study, published online Jan. 14 in the BMJ, pooled the results of seven previously completed studies on SSRI use during pregnancy and the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension.

The analysis found that taking SSRIs during early pregnancy didn't lead to a significantly increased risk of the lung condition. But, when taken late in pregnancy, these medications were linked to a 2.5 times increase in the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension.

That means that between 286 and 351 women would need to be treated with an SSRI in late pregnancy to result in an average of one additional case of persistent pulmonary hypertension, according to the study.

One difficulty for the researchers was pinning down the precise meaning of "late" pregnancy, as studies in the review had varying definitions. Late pregnancy could mean anytime during or after the 20th week, or it could mean during the third trimester, among other time frames.

Although the study found an increased risk of the lung problem, it wasn't designed to prove that the medications directly caused the problem. Grigoriadis said it's not clear exactly how SSRIs could cause persistent pulmonary hypertension.

She said that women shouldn't stop taking their medications, instead they should talk to their doctors if they have concerns.

"Decisions on treatment need to be personalized. Women need to make informed decisions by taking in all the risks of depression and its treatments. Psychosocial treatments [such as counseling] are appropriate for some women, depending on how severe the depression is, and how quickly [a woman] might respond to treatment," Grigoriadis said.

For her part, Frieder said, "It's good to see someone put all of these studies together in a uniform way. It makes me feel more comfortable about giving these medications. The risk is low, but it needs to be put into context with a woman's history. Treatment choices need to be individualized."

1 | 2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy