Study shows consuming antidepressants during pregnancy can lead to autism in child

Women who consume antidepressants during their last two trimesters of pregnancy are more likely to bear a child who has chances of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study. Scientists have observed that children diagnosed with autism were three times more expected to have been exposed to antidepressants in the womb. This research was published in the JAMA Pediatrics and it has emerged as one of the strongest findings that associate the use of antidepressant during pregnancy to poor consequences in children that are born out of those pregnancies.

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1 Fetus exposed to antidepressants is vulnerable to developmental delays

The study has found out that those children whose mothers took drugs like Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac, Praxil and Zoloft during their pregnancy trimesters were more vulnerable to suffer from developmental delays. Such drugs better known as SSRIs are a threat to the fetus if consumed by the expecting mother.

Study co-author and associate scientist Li Ching Lee has said that prenatal exposure to SSRI during the second and third trimester is more likely to hit the child with vulnerability to autism in life than those exposed to SSRI during the first trimester.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders

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2 Negative impact on both the mother and the child

This study has given an in-depth look to Canadian births, the use of antidepressants and their influence on mother and child. Though the results are indeed controversial in nature they are guaranteed to flash a debate.

It must be noted that the study authors have also pointed risk to both the mother and unborn fetus from even untreated depression. Dr Lee has further affirmed that it is a really complex decision to make, whether depression during pregnancy should be treated with medications or not. After all, there are a multitude of factors to be considered. Researchers do not intend that the study should be used as a basis for decisions related to medical treatments.

Negative impact on both the mother and the child

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3 A multitude of risks are involved with antidepressants

Survey has shown that every 1 out of 10 women in the United States take antidepressants at some point during their pregnancy. The use of antidepressants and pregnancy have also revealed various other risks such as increased chances of miscarriage, premature birth, major congenital malformations, lower birth weight and hypertension induced by pregnancy.

A multitude of risks are involved with antidepressants

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4 SSRIs lead to an increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Every case of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is different. While some children may require extreme level of support, some are not so much dependent on people. In fact, it is quite difficult to make out that some patients of ASD are actually suffering from the condition. However, it is so that some of them find it difficult to co-operate and integrate with society.

If a mother’s medical history determines depression then it is suspected that her child is likely to suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thus, the study also takes a different angle by needing to clarify that which holds a stronger link to a child being vulnerable to autism- his mother’s history of depression or his mother’s intake of SSRI during her second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Researchers analyzed and compared autism rates among babies that were born to females with a history of depression among those babies whose mother consumed antidepressants during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It was found that those babies whose mother consumed SSRI during pregnancy were about 75 % more vulnerable to develop autism than those babies whose mothers had a medical history of depression.

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5 Which class of antidepressants are more harmful?

The class of antidepressants consumed also plays a vital role. Serotonin is a common class of antidepressants that if taken during the second and third trimester of pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Serotonin can influence various processes in the developing baby, before birth and even after it. It is involved in neuron migration, cell division, differentiation of cell and also creation of the new synapses.

Which class of antidepressants are more harmful?

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On the other hand, experts are of the view that the overall risk of giving birth to a child with chances of developmental delay and autism is extremely low. However, for women planning on pregnancies it is advised to discuss with their physicians and in case they are into depression it is advised to go for non drug treatments if possible.

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