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Safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy

  • Allison Donnelly (a1) and Carol Paton (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as first-line drugs for the treatment of depression, but there is emerging evidence that they might not be entirely safe in pregnancy. We reviewed the literature in this area.

Results

Some data indicate an association between first-trimester SSRI exposure, particularly with paroxetine, and an increased risk of some major congenital malformations. Stronger evidence supports an association with small reductions in gestational age and neonatal withdrawal symptoms.

Clinical Implications

Risks and benefits of using SSRIs during pregnancy should be discussed with the patient, and a joint decision made between prescriber and patient regarding treatment. Limited data suggest that other SSRIs are safer than paroxetine in pregnancy.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy

  • Allison Donnelly (a1) and Carol Paton (a2)
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