What do we all want? We all want a healthy baby. Most of my patients bring up preventing autism at some point in one of our discussions about treatment and pregnancy. Technology allows us to screen the genetic make-up of an embryo for diseases like Cystic Fibrosis and chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome but we are unable to tell if an embryo will turn into a child with autism or not. A recent study has shown a possisble link between antidepressant use and autism. Approximately 25% of my patients take antidepressants so I’m particularly sensitive to the study findings published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
This is what the researchers found:
1. the type of antidepressants that they found may increase the chance of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was a type called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRISs). SSRISs include meds like Zoloft and Prozac.
2. SSRI treatment during the beginning of pregnancy (first trimester) had the strongest link to ASD.
3. Children whose mothers took an antidepressant in the year before delivery were twice as likely to develop ASD than the children whose mothers did not.
4. No association was found between having an ASD and exposure to other types of non-SSRI antidepressants.
Read more about the study here: http://www.medpagetoday.com/tbprint.cfm?tbid=27403
and talk to your own doc about whether taking your SSRI in pregnancy is right for you.
I have written about autism before in my blog so read more about autism here:
As always, I hope this helps.