Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

FDA Releases Advisory on Treating Pregnant Women with Depression

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

FDA Releases Advisory on Treating Pregnant Women with Depression

Article excerpt

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health advisory about the challenges of treating pregnant women with depression, citing two studies published in February that "provide important information" to consider when making the "increasingly complex" decisions about how to treat depression during pregnancy.

In one study, women with a history of major depression who stopped taking their medication during pregnancy were five times more likely to have a relapse during pregnancy than were those who remained on medication during pregnancy (JAMA 2006;295:499-507).

The second study, also published in February, found that persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a potentially fatal condition, was six times more common in infants whose mothers took SSRIs after the 20th week of gestation, compared with infants whose mothers did not take an antidepressant during pregnancy (N. Engl. J. Med. 2006;354:579-87).

The advisory describes PPHN as an "uncommon potential risk" that has not been confirmed by other studies, but notes that this finding "adds to concerns" generated from previous reports that infants exposed to SSRIs late in pregnancy may experience irritability, difficulty feeding, and in, "very rare cases," difficulty breathing. …

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