Pregnant women, or women planning on becoming pregnant, who use SSRIs before or during pregnancy, have worried that the drugs could affect the fetus’ or baby’s health. The NYTimes reported today on an observational study of 1.6 million births in Nordic countries. The conclusion is that SSRIs don’t lead to a higher death rate for infants under one month. The stillbirth rate or death under the age of one is higher among those whose mothers took SSRIs, but there are reasons to believe it is not the SSRI, but the psychiatric illness itself.
The study was released in The Journal of the American Medical Association (link to abstract). Neither the abstract nor The NYTimes reported on who sponsored or paid for the research. Since the study was observational – reviewing data and comparing it to the general population rather than a controlled study – other factors could not be controlled and isolated.