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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Jun;196(6):544.e1-5.

Increasing use of antidepressants in pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-2504, USA.



The purpose of this study was to quantify the rate of exposures to antidepressants during pregnancy in a large cohort of women.


This was a retrospective cohort study of 105,335 pregnancies among women enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid from 1999-2003. Pregnancies were classified according to antidepressant exposures during pregnancy using previously validated computerized pharmacy records linked with birth certificates.


During the study period, 8.7% of women giving birth had exposure to any antidepressant; 6.2% had exposure to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Maternal age > 25 years (P < .0001), white race (P < .0001), and education > 12 years (P = .008) were significant predictors of antidepressant exposure. The proportion of pregnancies with antidepressant use increased from 5.7% of pregnancies in 1999 to 13.4% of pregnancies in 2003 (p < .0001). The increase was mostly accounted for by increases in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposures.


There is an urgent need for further studies that better quantify the fetal consequences of exposure to antidepressants.

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