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Journal Article


Austin MP, Karatas JC, Mishra P, Christl B, Kennedy D, Oei JL. Acta Paediatr. 2013; 102(11): 1054-1059.


Chair, St John of God Health Care, University of New South Wales, Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia.


(Copyright © 2013, John Wiley and Sons)






AIM: To examine the impact of pregnancy exposure to antidepressants on infant neurodevelopment. METHODS: A prospective, longitudinal study in which antidepressant exposed (N = 35) and non-exposed (N=23) infants were administered the Bailey Scales of Infant Development (BSID -III) at 18 months which measures neurodevelopment across five domains. Data on obstetric and perinatal complications; maternal IQ; presence of mood disorder in pregnancy and up to and including 18 months; and psychosocial status were also collected. RESULTS: almost 90% of infants were exposed throughout the second and third trimesters to therapeutic antidepressant doses. Bivariate analysis showed no difference between exposed and unexposed infants in any of the neurodevelopmental outcomes. Maternal depression around birth or up to time of developmental testing was not associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that pregnancy antidepressant exposure (mostly SSRIs) is not associated with poorer cognitive, motor, or language development outcomes in infants at 18 months. This information supports earlier studies and adds into the available data used by clinicians and mothers making key decisions around the use of antidepressants in pregnancy. However given the small sample size, and some degree of heterogeneity in terms of antidepressant exposure, these results need to be treated with caution. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


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