Table 2

Evidence-based information given by Motherisk counsellors

1. Antidepressants are an important pharmacological tool in the treatment of depression, including during pregnancy.

2. Based on epidemiologic studies they are considered an exposure that would not harm the fetus.

3. Untreated maternal depression is associated with adverse effects on both the mother and the fetus.

4. In a minority of infants there is a mostly self limited but if required, treatable discontinuation syndrome. Consequently, the baby should be observed carefully after birth for signs of withdrawal.

5. If a woman has discussed the benefits and risks of taking an antidepressant during pregnancy with her physician and if the decision is to be pharmacologic treatment, based on current epidemiologic data, there is no reason to discontinue or decrease the drug anytime during pregnancy.

Einarson et al. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2005 5:11   doi:10.1186/1471-2393-5-11

Open Data