Antidepressants Increase the Risk of Autism by 87%!

Antidepressants Increase the Risk of Autism by 87%!

Many people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. In fact, 10.8% of Americans over the age of 12 are currently on an antidepressant. Women are especially susceptible, with over 15% currently on an antidepressant.

antidepressant chart

While, these antidepressants can reduce some of the symptoms associated with depression, they can also bring unwanted side effects.

 

Antidepressants and Autism:

One such side effect is autism in children of mothers who are on antidepressants. A new study tracked 145,456 children for an average of 6.24 years after birth. The researchers found that 0.7% of the children were diagnosed with autism. More importantly, even after adjusting for potential confounders, children of mothers who took antidepressants in the second and/or third trimester were 87% more likely to develop autism. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were especially dangerous, with children of mothers who took them during the second and/or third trimester 117% more like to develop autism.

Why does this occur? Researchers believe that

because serotonin is involved in numerous pre- and postnatal developmental processes, antidepressants that inhibit serotonin (particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors known as SSRIs) will have a negative impact on the ability of the brain to fully develop in-utero.

 

Conclusion:

If you are pregnant , lay off the antidepressants. The researchers concluded,

Depression should be treated with other options (other than antidepressants) during [pregnancy]. Indeed, 80-85 percent of depressed pregnant women are mildly to moderately depressed; exercise and psychotherapy have been shown to be efficacious to treat depression in this sub-group. Therefore, we acknowledge that depression is a serious condition but that antidepressants are not always the best solution.

 

Citation:

Croen, Lisa A., et al. “Antidepressant use during pregnancy and childhood autism spectrum disorders.” Archives of general psychiatry 68.11 (2011): 1104-1112.

 

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