Anti-depressants don’t lead to birth defects: study

May 23rd, 2008 - 9:34 am ICT by admin  

Toronto, May 23 (IANS) Canadian researchers have found that the use of anti-depressants by women during the early stages of pregnancy does not lead to birth defects in babies. In their study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Thursday, researchers at Montreal University (Universite de Montreal) and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-Justine said the anti-depressants, taken by a woman during the first three months of pregnancy, don’t increase her chances of delivering a baby with birth defects.

The study involved about 2,300 pregnant women, who suffered from some psychiatric disorder before pregnancy and took anti-depressants during the first three months of pregnancy - varying from 30 days to 90 days.

When the researchers studied the infant birth defect data collected from these women, they found that the use of anti-depressants didn’t raise the risk of birth defects in their infants.

They also found that the class of the anti-depressants didn’t matter.

The researchers concluded that birth defect rates didn’t change whether women took anti-depressants during the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy or not at all during the whole pregnancy period.

In fact, denying anti-depressants to women with psychiatric disorders during pregnancy could make them resort to alcohol abuse or smoking and thus harm the unborn baby, they observed.

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