Maternal Use of Antidepressants and Infant Congenital Malformations

  • Bengt Källén


During the observation period an increasing proportion of pregnant women have used antidepressants in early pregnancy, notably selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (SSRI). Studied as a group, little teratogenic properties appear which argues for only little if any general confounding by indication. For clomipramine, a risk appears to exist consisting of an increased risk of cardiovascular defects. Among SSRI drugs two may be associated with such a risk: paroxetine and possibly fluoxetine. The results vary between different studies and may be due to different dosages used or even differences in population pharmacogenetics. So far no certain teratogenic effect has been demonstrated for serotonin/noradrenalin receptor inhibitors but more data are needed. If possible the two most suspected drugs (clomipramine and paroxetine) should be avoided but if exposure has already occurred, the risk is only moderately high and the involved cardiac defects are usually not very serious. Some associations with other malformations have been suggested but cannot be looked upon as definite.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bengt Källén
    • 1
  1. 1.Tornblad Institute for Comparative EmbryologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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