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Pregnancy study finds strong association between two antidepressants and heart anomalies
Date:11/24/2008

"These findings clearly show a significant association between major heart anomalies and taking fluoxetine and smoking during pregnancy" says Professor Ornoy.

"There is an ongoing debate in the medical literature about the possible association between women taking one of these two drugs during pregnancy and having a baby with a heart anomaly and we are keen to see further research in this area.

"We should point out that there is no evidence of any increased risk posed by citalopram and sertraline, which belong to the same group of antidepressants."

The authors say that it is important that women are aware of these findings, especially if they smoke. However if they are taking fluoxetine, they should speak to their family doctor or consultant and should not stop taking their medication unless advised to do so.

"It's estimated that as many as one in seven women suffer from clinical depression during pregnancy and clinicians need to weigh up the individual risks of pregnant women taking, or not taking, drugs like fluoxetine" stresses Professor Ornoy.

"Many heart anomalies can now be treated, so it is important to bear that in mind when making a decision about whether or not to continue with one of these drugs during pregnancy. The health of the mother and the baby are both important.

"We hope that this study will provide both doctors and pregnant women on antidepressants with some of the information they need to help them make those difficult decisions."


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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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