Use of common antidepressants can have numerous side effects. New research published in Pediatrics shows that taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with autism or developmental delays. Examples of popular SSRIs are Prozac, Celexa, Luvox, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro.
Researchers found that among boys, prenatal use of SSRIs by the mother was nearly 3 times as likely in children with autism spectrum disorder compared to those with typical development. The strongest association occurred when exposure was during the first-trimester.
An increased risk for developmental delays was also seen with use of SSRIs. In this case, the greatest risk was noted when exposure occurred during the third trimester. Study abstract Natural approaches for depression can often be effective.
We recommend a book by Dr. Michael Schachter, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Depression. See here for details.