Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy Doubles Baby’s Risk of Heart Defect


(NaturalNews) Women who take certain antidepressant drugs while pregnant may double their child’s risk of being born with a certain variety of heart defect, according to a study conducted by researchers from Aarhaus University in Denmark and published in the medical journal BMJ.

“Anyone who is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and has any concerns about the treatment for depression should speak to their doctor,” said Cathy Ross of the British Heart Foundation.

Researchers compared the risk of birth defects in 1,370 children born to women who took at least one selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) while pregnant with the risk in 400,000 other children whose mothers had not taken any SSRIs while pregnant. They found that the drugs fluoxetine (marketed as Prozac), sertraline (marketed as Zoloft) and citalopram (marketed as Celexa) all significantly increased the risk that a child would be born with a defect in the septum, which separates the right and left halves of the heart.

Septum defects include a variety of conditions from minor blood vessel problems to outright holes in the heart. The researchers found that one extra septum defect would develop for every 246 pregnant women taking an SSRI during the time period from 28 days before through 112 days after conception.

Taking more than one SSRI drastically increased the risk of septum defects. While the risk of the defects was 0.5 percent in mothers not taking the drugs and 0.9 percent in those taking one drug (an 80 percent increase), it was 2.1 percent in mothers taking two or more (a more than 300 percent increase).

Sertraline appeared to increase the risk more than citalopram or fluoxetine did.

The study is not the first linking SSRIs to birth defects. Previous research has found a link between the drugs and defects of the heart and of other bodily systems.

Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com; www.telegraph.co.uk.

8 thoughts on “Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy Doubles Baby’s Risk of Heart Defect

  1. My grandson was born with pulmanory vein decease after his Mum was prescribed with anti depressants.
    Can I pursue this further.

    Jayne Gatrtell

  2. i would like to know if its possible ! if i could find out what anti depresents my mum was taking during her 6mths of pregnancy with me . i was born with a many health problems gasping for air for the first 2 yrs of my life , i couldn’t walk til i was 3 yrs thanks to my mum as the doctors had gven up hope , i was completely deaf for the first 6 yrs of my life til finally after 5 operations i was 6 yr n 4 mths when i heard sounds of the world that surrounded me . the only positive things in my life which never made sense as a child was my pyschic abilities .

    1. Hi Corina,

      Anything is possible. Is your mom still living? I doubt that there would still be medical records from that long ago. But perhaps someone who was around at the time would know.

  3. I was taking citalopram during pregnance and my child was born with a heart defect. She sadly passed away.I have tryed to come off the tablets as we are trying again for another baby ,however i found it to hard.If i carried on with citalopram during my next pregnance what are the chances of this happening again.?

    1. Amy,

      I am so very sorry for your loss. I apologize for not responding sooner, I have been out of town without internet. I bet you must be wanting another baby so badly, it will no doubt be a very healing experience when it does happen.

      This is exactly the type of case that I relentlessly warn people about but it seems that so many people don’t want to believe it. It is so tragic and frustrating to see so many women being misinformed by just about everyone from their doctors to the “nonprofits” and pro-drugging bloggers, and to have to hear about more and more babies dying every day because of it.

      Withdrawal can be very difficult and dangerous because of the effects of the drug on the brain and body and the effects of taking away a strong substance that you have been on for a long time. It is best to do it slowly because if you do it suddenly then you could have a seizure or become suicidal or homicidal. The withdrawal effects for psychiatric drugs can be extremely severe. For babies they can be worse than withdrawal from Heroin or Cocaine. On top of that if you become pregnant and suddenly withdraw from a psych drug it could cause the baby to have withdrawal seizures and die in utero.

      The chances of it happening to your next baby would likely be equal to or greater than the chances were of it happening the last time you got pregnant. Although not all babies get heart defects from these drugs, the fact that you have this history is very scary. The longer you expose yourself to this drug the more it will be in your system and store itself in your tissues. It could also damage your eggs. It also takes much longer to get it cleansed out of your system the longer you are on it because the amounts build up. For example the brain stores many times more of the drug than can be found in the bloodstream and can take many times longer to wash out.

      Personally I would never get pregnant while on a psychiatric drug and if I accidentally became pregnant on one I would wean off of the drug as quickly as possible as the heart and all the major organs are forming in the first few weeks of life after conception. I would personally want to be off the drug for as long as I could stand to wait (several months or longer) before conceiving.

      The development of the baby can be affected by the altered unnaturally high levels of serotonin in your body, as well as probably drug toxicity itself. In addition after you get off of the drug your body could have a decreased ability to manufacture its own serotonin and this affects the development of organs including heart, liver, etc.

      Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to talk about it, get your story out there, get more information – whatever.

      Amy Philo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s