Antidepressants during pregnancy may affect child's mental health

Continuous consumption of antidepressants affected the mental health of the children during pregnancy increases the chances of them suffering from psychiatry disorders in later life. 

Published: 08th September 2017 03:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2017 03:41 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.


WASHINGTON D.C: Beware mothers-to-be! Taking antidepressants, both before and during pregnancy, may affect your child’s mental health, warns a recent study.

Researchers from the National Centre for Register-based Research at Aarhus BSS showed that there is an increased risk involved in using antidepressants during pregnancy.

Lead researcher Xiaoqin Liu analysed 90,5,383 children born between 1998 and 2012 with the aim of exploring the possible adverse effects of the mother's use of antidepressants during her pregnancy.They found that 32,400 children developed a psychiatric disorder later in life. Some of these children were born to mothers who were on antidepressants during their pregnancy, while other children were not exposed to medication.

Liu expressed that the risk of developing a psychiatric disorder increased in mothers, who continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy.

More specifically, the researchers divided the children into four groups depending on the mother's use of antidepressants before and during pregnancy.The children in group one had not been exposed to antidepressants in the womb.In group two, the mothers had been taking antidepressants up until the pregnancy, but not during the pregnancy.In group three, the mothers were using antidepressants both before and during the pregnancy.Group four consisted of children, whose mothers were new users of antidepressants and had started taking the medication during the pregnancy.

The results showed that there was increase in number of children with psychiatric disorders, whose mothers had been using antidepressants during their pregnancy.

Approximately twice as many children were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in group 4 (14.5 percent) than in group 1 (8 percent).In groups 2 and 3 respectively, 11.5 percent and 13.6 percent were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder at age 16 years.

"Our research shows that medication seems to increase the risk, but that heritability also plays a part," said another reseracher Trine Munk-Olsen.The study could help doctors advise women on the use of antidepressants both before and after their pregnancy, the researchers advised. The research appears in BMJ-British Medical Journal.

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.