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Antidepressants in pregnancy are not associated with autism risk, new study finds

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1923 (Published 19 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1923
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Other factors may explain a proposed increased risk of autism in children of depressed mothers treated with antidepressants during pregnancy, show the findings of two large population based studies published in JAMA.1

Previous studies have suggested a higher risk of childhood autism spectrum disorder associated with antidepressant exposure during pregnancy. But researchers at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada, evaluated the association between serotonergic antidepressant exposure (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) during pregnancy and childhood autism, using a variety of methods to tackle the potential confounding factors.

The study included 35 906 births at an average gestational …

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