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Scott Kappes
Scott Kappes
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Antidepressant use During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Risk of Autism

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Women taking antidepressant medications during pregnancy have another risk to worry about, autism. A study recently published in the Archives of General Psychology suggests that mothers taking antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil may be increasing the risk of having a child born with autism.

The study was foundered by medical giant Kaiser Permanente looked at the effect selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have on offspring when taken during pregnancy. Researchers looked at control group of over 1,500 and 298 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and compared findings between the two groups.

The data suggests that mothers who took an SSRI medication while pregnant are twice as likely to have a child born with autism spectrum disorder than those who did not take the medication.

While not conclusive by any means researchers believe the results call for additional and more extensive testing to determine strength of a potential link between autism and the use SSRIs during pregnancy.

The new study draws even more attention to the already swirling controversy surrounding SSRIs. Over the past several months hundreds of SSRI lawsuits have been filed alleging that the medications have caused birth defects in children born to mothers who took the SSRIs during pregnant.