Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and The Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children

Gnieber, Jamal Omar Khalifa (2018-05-05)

Antidepressants (ADs) are widely used during gestation for the treatment of depression. In the United States, the prevalence of AD use during pregnancy increased from 5.7% in 1999 to 13.3% in 2003; in Canada, 4.5% of pregnant women reported using ADs between 2001 and 2006. However, there is continued confusion regarding the appropriate use of ADs during this critical period. Gestational exposure to ADs has been associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion, major congenital malformations, prematurity, and low birth weight.


Autism, or Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. (1) Whether the high rates of autism today are due to increased diagnosis and reporting, changing autism’s definition, or an actual increase in development of this disorder is unknown. Regardless, researchers and worried parents alike have speculated about causes of autism, and the issue has been studied for many years. The association between the use of antidepressants during gestation and the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children is still controversial. The etiology of ASD remains unclear, and the role of ADs along with other possible risk factors, has been questioned. There are some studies showing correlation between Antidepressant and ASD, but there are contradictory studies too. In this report two researches concerning this topic has been reviewed. The first study was not that significant, and the second study only half the case-control studies and 2 out of 8 cohort studies showed positive association

Attribution 3.0 United States
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