Antidepressants during pregnancy: a French drug utilisation study in EFEMERIS cohort

  • Caroline Hurault-DelarueEmail author
  • Isabelle Lacroix
  • Anne Bénard-Laribière
  • Jean-Louis Montastruc
  • Antoine Pariente
  • Christine Damase-Michel
Original Paper



Previous studies have suggested that exposure to some antidepressants (AD) during pregnancy could be associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations and neurodevelopment disorders for the child. We conducted a study to describe the use of AD during pregnancy in France.


We performed a drug utilisation study in EFEMERIS, a French cohort of pregnant women. At the time of the present study, 89,170 pregnant women, who were pregnant from 2005 to 2014 in Haute-Garonne were included. Prevalence and incidence of AD prescriptions during pregnancy, characteristics of AD users, and trends in AD use over the 10-year period were studied.


During the 10-year study period, 1620 women registered in EFEMERIS (1.8%) received at least one prescription and dispensation for AD during pregnancy: 1363 during the first (1.5%), 591 during the second (0.7%), and 412 during the third (0.5%) trimester. A total of 2874 women (3.2%) got a prescription for an AD during the 3 months before and/or during pregnancy; 2187 of them (76.1%) stopped AD before pregnancy or during the first trimester. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors represented the most prescribed class during pregnancy (1.3%). A very slight decrease in the prevalence of AD prescriptions in pregnant women over time (1.7% in 2014 vs 2% in 2005) and some variations within classes were observed.


Nearly, 2% of women received antidepressant drugs during pregnancy. This assessment encourages following research on these drugs including the potential risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children after an exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy.


Drug utilisation study Psychotropic drugs Antidepressant drugs Pregnancy 



This study is part of the Drugs Systematized Assessment in real-liFe Environment (DRUGS-SAFE) research program funded by the French Medicines Agency (Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé, ANSM). This publication represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the French Medicines Agency. EFEMERIS database is funded by the ANSM, the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie des travailleurs salariés (CNAMTS) and the Clinical Research Hospital Program (PHRC).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Caroline Hurault-Delarue, Isabelle Lacroix, Anne Bénard-Laribière, Jean-Louis Montastruc, Antoine Pariente and Christine Damase-Michel declare that they have no conflict of interest with the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Ethics statement

The EFEMERIS database was approved by the French Data Protection Agency (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, CNIL) on 7 April 2005 (authorisation number 05-1140). Women were informed of the study and could refuse to participate. In accordance with French regulations, ethics committee approval was not required for this observational study conducted on anonymous medico-administrative data.

Supplementary material

406_2018_906_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 15 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Hurault-Delarue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabelle Lacroix
    • 1
  • Anne Bénard-Laribière
    • 2
  • Jean-Louis Montastruc
    • 1
  • Antoine Pariente
    • 2
  • Christine Damase-Michel
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Médicale et Clinique, Centre Midi-Pyrénées de PharmacoVigilance, de Pharmacoépidémiologie et d’Information sur le Médicament, INSERM/UPS UMR 1027, CIC INSERM 1436Faculté de Médecine de l’Université Paul-Sabatier et Centre Hospitalier UniversitaireToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Université Bordeaux, Inserm, CHU Bordeaux, Service de Pharmacologie Médicale, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Team Pharmacoepidemiology, UMR 1219BordeauxFrance

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