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New SSRI doubts during pregnancy

The safety of SSRIs in pregnancy has been thrown into further doubt by a new expert committee review.

The pharmacovigilance expert advisory group warned product information would need to be revised to reinforce the potential risks.

It led a Europe-wide review of two SSRIs, including a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine linking use of SSRIs late in pregnancy to pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.

The group, a committee of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, has now referred its recommendations for discussion by other member states.

Silke Thomson, spokesperson for the MHRA, said: 'There is an ongoing Europe-wide review examining the data relating to the use of all SSRIs in pregnancy. The UK is acting as lead member state for two of the SSRIs.'

Dr Brian Crichton, honorary lecturer in therapeutics and pharmacology at the University of Warwick, said: 'The body of evidence on SSRIs has steadily been growing and does raise concerns.

'Clinicians need to be aware of the risk and inform patients about it. We need constant pharmacovigilance – it reinforces the importance of yellow card reporting.'

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