Impact of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy on obstetric outcomes among women previously treated for depression: an observational cohort study

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To examine the impact of pharmacologic treatment for depression on obstetric outcomes in women treated for depression during the 2 years prior to pregnancy.


Observational cohort study among 2859 women treated for depression during the 2 years prior to pregnancy. The primary exposure was any antidepressant treatment during pregnancy. Secondary analyses examined the impact of treatment by period of antidepressant exposure. Multivariable logistic regression models as well as propensity score analysis was utilized.


Among 2859 women, 1648 (58%) were treated with antidepressant medication during pregnancy. Women who received antidepressants had no difference in preterm and early-term deliveries, Apgar scores, and small for gestational age (SGA); they had a lower likelihood of breastfeeding (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.69, (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51 to 0.94)). In secondary analysis, women who used antidepressants all three trimesters who delivered at term were more likely to deliver early term (AOR 1.36, (95% CI: 1.09 to 1.72)). Women who were treated with antidepressants only during the first and second trimesters had a reduced likelihood of SGA (AOR: 0.51 (95% CI: 0.32 to 0.83)). Generally similar results were observed with propensity score analysis.


Antidepressant exposure during pregnancy does not confer an increased risk of preterm birth nor growth restriction in women recently treated for depression, but also does not appear to markedly improve these outcomes.

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