During pregnancy, antispsychotics okay while antidepressants are not, studies say
Two separate studies emerging this week yielded contrasting results concerning the use of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications by expectant mothers.
Pregnant women taking antipsychotics are not at increased risk of giving birth to a child with birth defects, the results of a study published in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) said. Separately, mothers taking antidepressants late in their pregnancy raise the risk that their babies will suffer from a host of mild physical symptoms in their first weeks, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry this week.
According to the JAMA article, researchers in Canada looked at the pregnancy outcomes of 151 women who had taken an atypical antipsychotic in the first trimester of pregnancy.
A total of 60 women had been exposed to olanzapine, 49 to risperidone, 36 to quetiapine and 6 to clozapine. The outcomes in these women were compared to outcomes in a group of pregnant women who had not been exposed to these medications. Results showed rates of major malformations, miscarriage and stillbirths were similar in the exposed group and non-exposed group.
Meanwhile, a separate study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh pooling previous research explained that women who take Prozac or certain other antidepressants late in their pregnancies raise the risk that their babies will be born suffering form jitteriness, irritability and serious respiratory problems during their first couple of weeks.
Babies born to women taking antidepressants in the last three months of pregnancy were three times more likely to develop drug-related symptoms than those born to women who did not use the drugs or took them only early in pregnancy, the study said.
Most of the symptoms were mild and usually disappear after about two weeks but some require intensive care hospitalization, the researchers said.