Antidepressant use during pregnancy

Ariela Frieder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Depression during pregnancy affects 10-20% of pregnant women and can have detrimental effects (short and long term) for the mother, fetus and family. The use of antidepressants during pregnancy has been the subject of much debate. Recent data suggest a possible risk to the fetus with maternal use of antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been associated with congenital malformations, negative pregnancy outcomes, neonatal behavioral symptoms and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. Women with depression tend to discontinue their medication when trying to conceive or upon discovering they are pregnant, placing themselves at increased risk of recurrence of their affective illness. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to understand the risks and benefits of antidepressant use during pregnancy in order to appropriately counsel women. The purpose of this article is to review updated information regarding the use of antidepressants during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • antidepressants
  • birth outcomes
  • depression
  • malformations
  • pregnancy
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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