Antidepressants in Pregnancy Raises Risk of Hypertension in Kids

Heart Issues Face the Unborn

In a large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from participating universities found mothers that take antidepressant drugs during pregnancy face the risk of heart issues for their children.

The researchers tested 3,789,330 pregnant women between 2000 and 2010. Of these, 128,950 took at least one prescription for antidepressants during their pregnancy. High blood pressure among children of mothers that didn’t take antidepressants was about 21 percent. Children that were exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs during pregnancy experienced high blood pressure in 31.5 percent of the cases. Those that were exposed to non-SSRI antidepressants experienced high blood pressure 29 percent of the time.

This represents a 50 percent increased risk of hypertension for babies of mothers that take SSRIs during pregnancy and a 40 percent increased risk for children exposed to non-SSRIs.

In their conclusion, the researchers note, “Evidence from publicly insured pregnant women studied may be consistent with a potential increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn associated with maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in late pregnancy.”

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