Good news about antidepressants in early pregnancy

Past studies have linked mothers' use of antidepressants during early pregnancy with higher risks of ADHD and autism. New research suggests something else.

A new study finds that mothers’ use of antidepressants during early pregnancy does not increase the risk of their children developing autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conditions previously associated with these medications.

After controlling for multiple other risk factors, the researchers did not find any increased risk of autism, ADHD, or reduced fetal growth among exposed offspring. The risk for premature birth was about 1.3 times higher for exposed offspring compared to unexposed offspring.

Brian D’Onofrio, a professor in the Indiana University Bloomington department of psychological and brain sciences, is lead author of the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Here, he explains more about the work.

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