Using Antidepressants During Pregnancy? It Poses Risk To Your Baby

By on June 23, 2014

According to a new research, pregnant woman are taking antidepressants is unknowingly predisposing her unborn baby to future childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This research was conducted by McMaster University. Alison Holloway is the senior investigator of this study, and she is also an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University.

This study was presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and The Endocrine Society by Nicole De Long, who is a PhD student.

The researchers of this study have found out connection between using antidepressant fluoxetine during pregnancy and increased risk of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Antidepressants During PregnancyCurrently, there are about 20% of American pregnant women, and 7% of Canadian pregnant women are prescribed medication for depression.

Alison Holloway said that childhood obesity and diabetes in increasing day by day.

There is an argument that lifestyle, physical inactiveness, and high calorie food intake in children are the causes of childhood obesity and childhood diabetes. She also said that according to this study, usage of antidepressant during pregnancy is also one of the causes.

According to previous studies, depression is commonly found in pregnant women. Nearly 20% of the pregnant women show the symptoms of depression.

Holloway said that it is a known fact of risk of obesity in adults, increases with usage of antidepressants. But, it is unknown that whether risk of metabolic disturbances in children is caused by taking antidepressant by a woman during her pregnancy.

Their main goal of the project to determine does the usage of common antidepressant medication by pregnant women results into development of fatty liver in her children. Development of fatty commonly found in obese people.


Nicole De Long said that with the animal model they developed, they were able to demonstrate that maternal usage of SSRIs (antidepressants) results into increased fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver in her offspring.

With this outcome, new concerns raise about long term metabolic complications in the children of the woman, who took SSRI antidepressants during her pregnancy.

Holloway said that, their study does not suggests that pregnant women should not use antidepressants, but it only suggests that there risk involved in taking them, which was not previously identified.

She also said that their study is helpful in identifying the children with high risk, who need special interventions for preventing future obesity and type 2 diabetes in them.

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