Side effects of using antidepressants during pregnancy


Antidepressants can have adverse effects when mixed with infection and inflammation in the pregnant mother’s body, and can affect the baby’s developing brain.

The prevalence of autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has reportedly increased significantly over the past two decades. The exact cause of ASD is unknown, but research has linked genetic and certain environmental factors to its development. A maternal history of viral infections and fetal exposure to some drugs are also suspected risk factors for ASD. suggesting that it may be associated with the increased prevalence of autism.

According to UVA neuroscientists, common antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) strongly interact with pre-existing inflammation in the mother’s body (caused by infections and other factors). It can affect your baby’s developing brain. This harmful combination may increase the risk of neurodevelopmental changes in the developing brain, including those associated with autism, they said.

In laboratory mice, the interaction of antidepressants with inflammation led to deleterious changes in the placenta and decidua, which connect mother and child, and affected the developing brain.

Side Effects of Antidepressants During Pregnancy

UVA studies highlight the widespread use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in developing countries and may help explain the rising prevalence of autism over the past two decades. They think it’s possible.

These antidepressants (SSRIs) are often prescribed to pregnant women to manage depression. Although these drugs are widely considered safe, some studies suggest they may increase the risk of premature birth and put children at risk of developing neurological and other health problems.

In the UVA study, researchers observed that SSRIs interacted with the maternal immune system and caused a strong inflammatory response at the maternal-fetal interface. We found that adult offspring exhibit gender-based behavioral changes, such as reduced communication and decreased interest in social interactions. .

Should I stop taking antidepressants during pregnancy?

Experts point out that pregnant women should not stop using SSRIs without talking to their doctor because these drugs are important in managing depression. They noted that if maternal stress is left untreated, depression and anxiety can interfere with neurodevelopment in offspring and adversely affect behavioral and cognitive outcomes.

Therefore, it is important to consider both the relative benefits and potential consequences of antidepressant use during pregnancy, they added.

They also emphasized the need for additional studies involving human subjects to better understand the interplay between SSRIs and inflammation.

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