Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SSRI Antidepressants Do Not Pose Major Birth Defect Risk

Date:
June 28, 2007
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Researchers have found that certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants do not appear to increase the risk for most kinds of birth defects. The findings suggest that individual SSRIs may increase the risk for some specific defects, but these are rare and the absolute risks are small.

Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants do not appear to increase the risk for most kinds of birth defects. The findings, to be published in the June 28, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that individual SSRIs may increase the risk for some specific defects, but these are rare and the absolute risks are small.

Related Articles


The risk of birth defects following antenatal exposure to SSRIs remains controversial. Early studies demonstrated that SSRIs didn't increase risks of birth defects when such defects were studied as a group. However, birth defects are not a single entity and individual defects have distinct causes. And, more recent studies have reported elevated risks for some birth defects.

Using data from the Slone Epidemiology Center's Birth Defects Study, an ongoing program of case-control surveillance of medication use in relation to birth defects, the researchers considered relationships between first trimester SSRI use and the risk of various birth defects among mothers of 9,849 infants with birth defects and 5,860 infants without defects.

The researchers analyzed defects previously linked to SSRI use and found overall SSRI use was not associated with significantly increased risks of craniosynostosis (where connections between skull bones close prematurely), omphalocele (intestines or other abdominal organs protrude from the naval) or heart defects overall.

Analysis of individual SSRIs and specific defects showed significant associations between setraline (e.g. Zoloft) and omphalocele and septal defects (defects in the walls that separate the chambers of the heart) and between the paroxetine (e.g. Paxil) and certain heart defects that interfere with blood flow to the lungs. This last association was also reported in another paper, from the CDC's National Birth Defects Prevention Study, in NEJM. However, the BU researchers stress that even if a specific SSRI increased rates four-fold, as was observed for some of these associations, the risk of having an affected child would be less than one percent.

"Our analyses did not confirm previously reported associations between overall use of SSRIs and a number of birth defects," said lead author Carol Louik, ScD, an assistant professor at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. "Rather our study suggests that risks are limited to specific SSRIs in relation to specific birth defects. Still, it is important to keep in perspective that the baseline risks for these rare defects are small, so even if the modest increased risks we observed are correct, the chances of having a child with such a defect are quite small," she added.

Funding for this study was provided by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Aventis and Sanofi-Pasteur.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "SSRI Antidepressants Do Not Pose Major Birth Defect Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627221729.htm>.
Boston University. (2007, June 28). SSRI Antidepressants Do Not Pose Major Birth Defect Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627221729.htm
Boston University. "SSRI Antidepressants Do Not Pose Major Birth Defect Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627221729.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins