Published in the July, 2013 edition of Psychopharmacology by a team of Danish researchers led by H.M. Jensen, an article titled “The effects of maternal depression and use of antidepressants during pregnancy on risk of a child small for gestational age.” attempts to sort out whether maternal depression or maternal medication leads to children being born small for gestational age (SGA).

We should note that over the past twenty years, dozens of studies have been published demonstrating the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to antidepressants, citing increased risk for heart defects, neurologic birth defects, poor neonatal adaptation, and other adverse birth outcomes.

This study “was conducted on all pregnant women in Denmark from 1996 to 2006 linking nationwide individualized data from the Medical Birth Register, the Psychiatric Central Register, and a prescription database.”  That is, all Danish women who used antidepressants in pregnancy from 1996 to 2006 were included.  In all, “673,853 pregnancies were included in the study of which 35.737 women had a diagnosis of depression and/or used antidepressants before end of pregnancy. Antidepressant use during pregnancy was … associated with SGA (hazard ratios (HR) = 1.19; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.11-1.28), whereas a psychiatric diagnosis before or during pregnancy was not (HR = 1.02; 95 % CI, 0.92-1.13).”

This means that women who used antidepressants during pregnancy were 19% more likely to bear children small for gestational age, and that women who were depressed but did not use medication were no more likely to bear children SGA.

The study team’s conclusion: “The use of antidepressants during pregnancy slightly increases the rate of SGA. The association seems unrelated to the underlying maternal depressive disorder.”

Since so many women have used antidepressants in pregnancy unaware of the increased risk for adverse birth outcomes because of manufacturer failure to warn, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed in recent years.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who was small for gestational age, your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI birth defect lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5529

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.