The use of antidepressant medications during pregnancy may heighten the risk of having offspring with autism spectrum disorder.
This study investigated the link between maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy and the odds of having babies with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers evaluated more than 145,000 pregnant women between 1998 and 2009. The offspring of these women were followed for an average of 6 years.
Researchers found out that women who took antidepressants, especially medications that belong to the class of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRIs), in the second and third trimester of pregnancy had high propensity of giving birth to children with autism. The results of this study suggest that maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy may be a risk factor for autism spectrum disorder .