A recent medical journal article discussed the extent to which some popular medications prescribed to treat depression in the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) class of drugs, when used by women during pregnancy, are associated with an increased autism risk in children.
The bottom line is that using SSRIs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy is associated with a heightened risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. This is according to a JAMA Pediatrics study which is the subject of this article, “Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children”, first published online in December 2015.
The SSRIs class of drugs includes the following:
Effexor (venlafaxine); and,
From the Abstract for the JAMA Pediatrics medical journal article about that study we get this additional information about its findings:
Importance The association between the use of antidepressants during gestation and the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children is still controversial. The etiology of ASD remains unclear, although studies have implicated genetic predispositions, environmental risk factors, and maternal depression.
Objective To examine the risk of ASD in children associated with antidepressant use during pregnancy according to trimester of exposure and taking into account maternal depression.
Conclusions and Relevance Use of antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, during the second and/or third trimester increases the risk of ASD in children, even after considering maternal depression. Further research is needed to specifically assess the risk of ASD associated with antidepressant types and dosages during pregnancy.
We will continue to monitor the apparent link between the use of antidepressant drugs such as Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Paxil, and Effexor by women during pregnancy with the new side effect of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their children, and report significant developments here.[Read this article in full at original source]
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