Study: Antidepressants Increase Premature Birth Risk

antidepressants and premature birthAntidepressants may increase a pregnant woman’s likelihood of giving birth prematurely, this according to a report from researchers at Yale University. The use of antidepressants has, in the past, been linked to higher rates of birth defects, but this new research specifically documents the correlation between antidepressant use and time of delivery.

The researchers observed pregnant women who suffer from depression. Some of the women were on antidepressants, while others were not. Incidents of depression showed no signs of resulting in early delivery, but the women who took antidepressants to cope with their depression symptoms were commonly found to deliver between 34 and 37 weeks, or what’s known as a “late” pre-term delivery.

These latest findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggest antidepressant use can have multiple adverse effects on pregnant women. The study was led by Kimberly Yonkers, professor of psychiatry and of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the university, and points out that the antidepressants did not appear to cause early preterm birth, which occurs before 34 weeks. Early preterm birth is more dangerous, but any premature birth can be dangerous.

According to the March of Dimes, late preterm infants are 6 times more likely to die in the first week of life than full-term infants, and they are three times more likely to die in their first year. Late preterm infants are also thinner and lighter in many cases, and are more prone to a variety of health problems than full-term infants.

The Yale researched observed approximately 3,000 women, and took a variety of variables into consideration, such as age, drug use, health history and socioeconomic status. All of these variables were ruled out as contributing factors in the increased premature birth rates, as they had no measurable impact on the results.

Some doctors are now advising against the use of antidepressants for pregnant women. Dr. Adam C. Urato, who works as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Tufts University School of Medicine, wrote an article on the subject in the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Urato wrote:

The hope that improved maternal mood through medication would lead to better pregnancy results has not been realized; the antidepressant-exposed pregnancies are faring worse. The available evidence raises the question: Are we exposing a generation of women and their babies to drugs that are causing significantly more harm than good?

If you or your baby has suffered as a result of antidepressants during pregnancy, including birth defects, premature birth or other similar complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The right personal injury lawyer can help you to fight your case and win. Don’t wait. The sooner you act, the stronger your case will be.

Nadrich & Cohen, LLP is currently investigating SSRI birth defects claims in all 50 states. For more information on filing a personal injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.

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