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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and congenital malformations: population based cohort study

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 23 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3569

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The birth defect risk of anti-psychotics is lamentably underresearched

The Pedersen article links anti-depressants to birth defects (1).
Anti- depressants are cousins of anti-psychotics. Both types of drug
cause sexual dysfunction, and this may possibly tip over into unfortunate
teratogenic consequences. Many older anti-psychotics will unnaturally
augment prolactin, so as to induce both galactorrhea and amenorrhea.
Breast-feeding can be unsafe if the mother is being given an anti-

Surprisingly, the research into the dangers of anti-psychotics for
pregnancy is not extensive. There is 'very little evidence...regarding the
use of antipsychotics during pregnancy'(2). We have fallen into a murky
complacency over anti- psychotics and teratogenic risk, with large-scale
retrospective studies being lamentably absent.


(1) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and
congenital malformations:population based cohort study. Lars Henning
Pedersen et al. BMJ 2009;339:b3569.

(2) Safety of antipsychotic drugs for pregnant and breastfeeding
women with non- affective psychosis. Louise Howard et al. BMJ 2004;329:933

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 September 2009
Zekria Ibrahimi
psychiatric patient
Coombs Library, Southall, UB13EU