Family Magazine

Autism and Anti-depressants

By Newsanchormom

If you suffer from depression and you are trying to get pregnant, you better wait until you've been off your anti-depressants for a year. It's not an official recommendation, it just makes sense based on the most recent findings that connect a mom's anti-depressant use to an increase in children with autism.
FROM ABC: News of a widely-used class of drugs --and a growing problem among children.

New research suggests a possible link between some anti-depressants taken by expectant mothers-- and childhood autism.
Out of four million children born each year in the United States, about 36-thousand five hundred will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. For an article in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the authors reviewed the medical records of over 16-hundred children and their mothers in California.
298 of the kids had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The authors found that six point seven per cent of those children's mothers had taken a class of drugs called SSRI anti-depressants in the year before they had their babies.
By contrast, three point three per cent of mothers with non-ASD children had taken the same drugs. So a pregnant woman's use of SSRI anti-depressants was associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of autism spectrum disorder in her child.
Still, the authors say less than three per cent of ASD cases might be attributed to anti-depressants.
Snd they say these findings clearly should be considered preliminary pending more research and that pregnant women should not stop taking anti- depressants without their doctors' advice.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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