Neonatal growth outcomes at birth and one month postpartum following in utero exposure to antidepressant medication

Andrew J Lewis, Megan Galbally, Gillian Opie, Anne Buist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: There is evidence of increasing prescription of antidepressant medication in pregnant women. This has arisen from the recognition of the importance of treating maternal depression. This must be balanced, however, with information on outcomes for infants and children exposed to antidepressants in pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to examine whether neonatal outcomes including gestational age at birth, neonatal growth outcomes at birth and then at 1 month postpartum were altered by in utero exposure to antidepressant medication using a prospective and controlled design.

METHOD: A prospective case-control study recruited 27 pregnant women taking antidepressant medication and 27 matched controls who were not taking antidepressant medication in pregnancy at an obstetric hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Of the 27 women taking medication, 25 remained on medication in the third trimester. A purpose-designed self-report questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory-II were completed in pregnancy, after birth and at one month postpartum. In addition information was collected on exposed and non-exposed infants including Apgar scores, birthweight/length/head circumference and gestational age at birth. Weight/length/head circumference was again collected at 1 month of age.

RESULTS: Infants exposed to antidepressants in utero were eightfold more likely to be born at a premature gestational age, had significantly lower birthweight and were smaller in length and head circumference than non-exposed infants. There was no association between birth outcomes and maternal depression. At 1 month, the difference in weight in the exposed group became significantly greater than the control group.

CONCLUSION: Antidepressant exposure in utero may affect gestational age at birth and neonatal outcomes independently of antenatal maternal depression. Further studies are needed to examine whether these findings vary according to the type of antidepressant prescribed and follow up growth and development in exposed infants beyond 1 month.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-7
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Postpartum Period
Antidepressive Agents
Parturition
Growth
Gestational Age
Head
Mothers
Pregnancy
Pregnant Women
Weights and Measures
Apgar Score
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Growth and Development
Self Report
Obstetrics
Prescriptions
Case-Control Studies
Equipment and Supplies
Control Groups

Cite this

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abstract = "OBJECTIVE: There is evidence of increasing prescription of antidepressant medication in pregnant women. This has arisen from the recognition of the importance of treating maternal depression. This must be balanced, however, with information on outcomes for infants and children exposed to antidepressants in pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to examine whether neonatal outcomes including gestational age at birth, neonatal growth outcomes at birth and then at 1 month postpartum were altered by in utero exposure to antidepressant medication using a prospective and controlled design.METHOD: A prospective case-control study recruited 27 pregnant women taking antidepressant medication and 27 matched controls who were not taking antidepressant medication in pregnancy at an obstetric hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Of the 27 women taking medication, 25 remained on medication in the third trimester. A purpose-designed self-report questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory-II were completed in pregnancy, after birth and at one month postpartum. In addition information was collected on exposed and non-exposed infants including Apgar scores, birthweight/length/head circumference and gestational age at birth. Weight/length/head circumference was again collected at 1 month of age.RESULTS: Infants exposed to antidepressants in utero were eightfold more likely to be born at a premature gestational age, had significantly lower birthweight and were smaller in length and head circumference than non-exposed infants. There was no association between birth outcomes and maternal depression. At 1 month, the difference in weight in the exposed group became significantly greater than the control group.CONCLUSION: Antidepressant exposure in utero may affect gestational age at birth and neonatal outcomes independently of antenatal maternal depression. Further studies are needed to examine whether these findings vary according to the type of antidepressant prescribed and follow up growth and development in exposed infants beyond 1 month.",
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Neonatal growth outcomes at birth and one month postpartum following in utero exposure to antidepressant medication. / Lewis, Andrew J; Galbally, Megan; Opie, Gillian; Buist, Anne.

In: Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 44, No. 5, 05.2010, p. 482-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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