SSRIs in pregnancy do not affect infant growth

March 28, 2013

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) taken by a woman during pregnancy do not impact her infant's growth during the first year of life, reports a new small study.

 

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) taken by a woman during pregnancy do not impact her infant's growth during the first year of life, reports a new small study.

The study, published March 20, 2013, on the website of The American Journal of Psychiatry, shows that infants born to mothers who took SSRIs had similar weights, lengths, and head circumferences over the course of their first year as infants born to women who did not take SSRIs.

For the study, pregnant women were evaluated at weeks 20, 30, and 36 of gestation, and mother-and-infant pairs were assessed at 2, 12, 26, and 52 weeks postpartum. Three nonoverlapping groups of women were defined according to their pregnancy exposures: 1) no SSRI and no depression (N=97), 2) SSRI (N=46), and 3) major depression without SSRI (N=31). Maternal demographic and clinical characteristics and newborn outcomes were compared among exposure groups. Infant weight, length, and head circumference were measured by a physician or physician assistant who was blind to depression and SSRI exposure status at each postpartum time point.

The researchers found that neither antenatal major depression nor SSRI exposure was significantly associated with infant weight, length, or head circumference. In addition, the researchers noted, the interaction of group and prepregnancy body mass index was evaluated, and no significant synergistic effect was identified.