Safety of SSRIs in Pregnancy

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Depression occurs in up to 20% of pregnant women, and the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in these women has been increasing.1 Maternal depression has itself been associated with intrauterine growth problems and low birth weight, so the risks of exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy must be weighed against the risks of untreated depression, which also include self-harm, poor bonding and poor parenting. SSRIs available in the US for treatment of depression include citalopram (Celexa, and others), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, and others), paroxetine (Paxil, and others) and sertraline (Zoloft).
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