Antidepressants during pregnancy: Worth the risk? | Futurity

A recent study suggests taking a certain class of antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of a brain malformation for children. Even so, researchers say doctors shouldn’t change their prescribing practices based on the results.

The antidepressants in question are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and the brain malformation is known as Chiari type 1, condition in which brain tissue in the cerebellum (a part of the brain that controls balance, motor systems, and some cognitive functions) extends into the spinal canal.

About 5 percent of children have a Chiari type 1 malformation. Most do not have any problems because of it, but some develop symptoms such as headache and balance problems. In severe cases surgery may be necessary.

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