make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Study: Effects of anti-depressants on fetuses

Depression is a serious condition, particularly for women who are pregnant. But questions exist as to whether it's safe to take medication during pregnancy. Could anti-depressants hurt a fetus? There are new results tonight, following research on whether it's safe to use prescription drugs to control feelings of despondency and depression. As many as one in 20 pregnant mothers suffer from major depression, a serious condition that often requires treatment with antidepressant medication. But are these drugs safe for developing babies? In 2005 Glaxo-Smith-Kline warned that babies exposed to Paxil in the womb may have an increased risk of heart defects. Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the relationship between antidepressants and 18 different birth defects in more than 13,000 infants. Overall they found no increase in the risk of birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken antidepressants, including heart defects. A second study also found no overall link between antidepressants and birth defects. The study did find that Paxil may be associated with an increase in heart problems. Researchers say that birth defects remain rare among babies exposed to antidepressants, but that some small risk probably remains. Doctors and women must weigh these risks against the potential for insomnia, lack of appetite, and suicidal thinking -- all risks for a pregnant mother's untreated depression.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.