Antidepressants cause language disorders in offspring
NEW US research has found a link between taking antidepressants while pregnant, and an increased risk of speech and/or language disorders in children.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia University Medical Centre, is believed to be the first to look at a possible association between taking SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants while pregnant and speech/language, scholastic, and motor disorders in children.
SSRIs are being increasingly used during pregnancy, where they cross the placenta and enter the foetal circulation.
To look at the effect of their use the team used a large sample of 845,345 single, live births between 1996 and 2010 taken from national registries in Finland.
The children born fell into three different groups: 15,596 were in the exposed group, whose mothers had purchased SSRIs once or more before or during pregnancy.
A total of 9,537 children were the unmedicated group, whose mothers had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder one year before or during pregnancy, but did not purchase SSRIs during pregnancy; and 31,207 were in the unexposed group, whose mothers had not been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness and had no history of purchasing SSRIs.
As exposure to SSRI was greater for mothers who made more than one SSRI purchase during the pregnancy, the team also looked at how two or more purchases of SSRIs could also affect the risk of speech/ language disorders.
The results showed that children of mothers who purchased SSRIs at least twice during pregnancy had a 37% increased risk of speech and/or language disorders when compared to mothers who had depression and other psychiatric disorders, but who who were not treated with antidepressants, although this group also showed an increased risk.
One of the study’s authors, Dr Alan Brown, noted that the study had many strengths, including its large sample size, the prospective data on SSRI purchases during pregnancy, and a comparison group of mothers with depression who were not taking antidepressants, but also added that the severity of depression could also be the reason for the association, and more research is needed. – AFPRelaxnews