Unlike previously believed, antidepressants may not increase the risk of having a miscarriage. However, that does not mean they are not harmful. It is extremely important to follow doctor’s advice when taking any medication during pregnancy.
During a Danish study, almost 1.3 million pregnant women were tested. During the first month of pregnant, almost 23,000 of the women were taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant (SSRI). These types of antidepressants included Paxil, Prozac and Lexapro. Of all the women, 12.6 percent of those taking one of the SSRIs suffered a miscarriage. At the same time, 11.1 percent of women who had never taken any of the medication suffered a miscarriage.
There were other factors believed to increase the risk of miscarriage. The women’s ages and previous miscarriages were noted. Education and income levels were also recorded for the study to see if they could play a part. Considering all the factors, those who were taking the medication were 27 percent more likely to suffer a miscarriage.
The study also looked into those who previously took the medication, but stopped between three and 12 months before falling pregnant. Researchers found that these women were 24 percent more likely to miscarry compared to women who had never taken the medication, and 13.8 percent of these women suffered a miscarriage.
Due to the findings of those who were taking the medication during pregnancy and those who stopped before, the researchers concluded that antidepressants may not increase the risk of a miscarriage after all. They deemed there was “no causal relationship between” the drugs and losing a baby early on. The researchers went on to suggest that lifestyle and depression are the two most common causes.
Some of the reasons included smoking and drinking. The scientists also believe that not taking the recommended supplements, including folic acid, could increase the risk of losing the baby.
While the researchers may have found “no causal relationship,” it does not mean that antidepressants are safe for use during pregnancy. A Harvard study showed that those who take these medications are twice as likely to have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There were also signs that there could be an increased risk of autism, but the researchers re-evaluated their data. It was concluded that the autism link was insignificant based on statistics.
The risks are higher with SSRI drugs, which are commonly used to treat depression. It was an important study to undertake. According to researchers, 14 percent of pregnant women will use the medication during pregnancy.
The reporting of the recent studies showing dangers of taking medications during pregnancy was attacked my scientists and doctors. There is a risk of pregnant women not getting the help against depression that they need, which can put the babies at further risk. It is why it is very important for pregnant women to follow the advice of their doctors, and allow further checks to ensure the safety of the unborn baby. It seems as though antidepressants may not cause the increase risk of miscarriage as once believed.
By Alexandria Ingham