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Warning on SSRIs

Women who take SSRIs during pregnancy have twice the risk of stillbirth of those not using the drugs, new research suggests.

A study of 5,000 women, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (April), also linked SSRI use to low birthweight and preterm birth.

Almost 20 per cent of the 972 women who used SSRIs gave birth prematurely, compared with 12 per cent of those not on the drugs.

Women taking the drugs had a 58 per cent increase in risk of low birthweight and 57 per cent increase in risk of preterm birth, while their babies had a four-fold increased risk of seizures.

The researchers, from the University of Ottawa, Canada, concluded: 'Given the possible fetal risk of prenatal SSRI exposure, the risks and benefits for women of reproductive age with severe depression should be considered.'

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