Navigation Links
Antidepressants Linked to Heart Defects in Newborns
Date:9/24/2009

Certain drugs increase the possibility of septal malformation, researchers find

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take certain antidepressants during the first three months of pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of giving birth to babies with heart defects.

Septal heart defects -- malformations in the wall separating the right side of the heart from the left -- were more common among women taking antidepressants in the first trimester, Danish researchers found. Some of these heart defects resolve on their own, while others require surgery.

The risks were seen in sertraline (trade names Zoloft and Lustral) and in citalopram (Celexa), both of which belong to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Women who took more than one SSRI early in their pregnancy had a fourfold higher risk of having babies with this problem, said the authors of a study appearing online Sept. 24 in BMJ.

Still, the authors said the absolute risk is relatively low: 246 women would have to take such medication in order to see one septal heart defect. And 62 mothers would have to take more than one SSRI to see a problem in one child.

"A potential association with malformations must be considered in the choice of treatment of depression during pregnancy," said Dr. Lars Henning Pedersen, lead author and a research assistant in the department of epidemiology at Aarhus University in Denmark. However, "if our data is correct, the absolute risk is low, which must be balanced against the potential substantial risk of under- or untreated depression during pregnancy."

Other experts agree. "Early exposure can slightly increase the risk of heart defects, but the overall risk is still very, very small," added Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

And discontinuing antidepressants also carries risks.

"The concern with pregnant women with depression, if you take them off their medication, they can have a relapse into severe depression and this could lead to self-destructive behaviors," Wu said.

Previous studies have found that pregnant women who stopped taking their antidepressant medications were five times more likely to relapse than women who continued with the medication.

In the United States, 13 percent of women have taken an antidepressant while pregnant, according to an accompanying editorial.

Recent research has indicated a higher risk of various defects, including heart defects, among pregnant women taking antidepressants, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have issued warnings about possible birth defects associated with the use of the SSRI Paxil (paroxetine) by moms-to-be.

But existing studies have yielded conflicting results about dangers associated with specific drugs.

These researchers looked at almost 500,000 children born in Denmark between 1996 and 2003, a time when the number of pregnant women taking antidepressants quadrupled.

Although no overall association was found in this study between mothers taking SSRIs during the first trimester and birth defects in general, there was a doubling in the risk for septal heart defects for women using Zoloft and Celexa, but not Prozac (fluoxetine) or Paxil.

Pedersen recommended more and larger studies to explore the matter.

In August, the American Psychiatric Association in collaboration with ACOG recommended that women with major depression who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant can start or continue with antidepressant drugs, while women who choose to stop taking the drugs should consider psychotherapy.

"Ideally, you'd want to work closely with a psychiatrist and ob/gyn when planning a pregnancy," Wu said. "When you are suddenly pregnant, there's a lot of anxiety involved and other hormones, so it's probably not a good time at that point to try to go off medications, and it certainly should be supervised."

Patients who are relatively stable, on the other hand, could consider going off their medications for the first trimester, knowing that it will take four-to-six weeks for the drug effect to wear off and also knowing that the medications would be resumed at the first sign of a relapse, Wu said.

More information

The National Women's Health Information Center has more on using antidepressants during pregnancy.



SOURCE: Lars Henning Pedersen, M.D., Ph.D., research assistant, department of epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and visiting scholar, University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology; Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 24, 2009, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental Antidepressants Offer Faster Relief
2. Newer antidepressants led to less, not more, teen suicides
3. Antidepressants and painkillers - a dangerous combination
4. Antidepressants Boost GI Bleeding Risk
5. Study shows new strategy for developing antidepressants
6. Antidepressants Help HIV-Infected Patients Stick to Treatment
7. Genetics May Determine Antidepressants Effectiveness
8. Antidepressants that are more efficient and faster
9. Antidepressants Can Increase Depression, Impulsivity and Suicide Risk by Decreasing Dopamine
10. As depression symptoms improve with antidepressants, hopelessness can linger
11. Only Severely Depressed Benefit From Antidepressants: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Antidepressants Linked to Heart Defects in Newborns
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the ... as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and other difficult to transfect cells, announces ... Medium. The PluriQ™ G9™ Gene Editing System is a complete system ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Finally, a bruise cream that ... dermaka cream can be incorporated into the post-surgical treatment plans of a variety of ... , dermaka cream is very effective for bruising and causes a rapid resolution of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... IL (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Beard, DDS, and Randall Markarian, DDS, are co-chairs for the Illinois State Dental ... clinic Friday-Saturday, July 15-16 at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription ... definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis ... four states – Kentucky , New ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: