SSRIs and Autism


SSRI use, before or dur­ing preg­nancy, is asso­ci­ated with a mod­est increase in the risk of devel­op­ing an Autism Spec­trum Disorders.

Picture of Sara L . Henry, MA, LMFT

Sara L . Henry, MALMFT

Research by Dr. Croen of Kaiser Per­ma­nente has drawn a cor­re­la­tion between SSRI use dur­ing the months prior to preg­nancy, as well as dur­ing the first trimester, to the diag­no­sis of autism spec­trum dis­or­ders (ASD) in chil­dren. SSRI expo­sure dur­ing this time was shown to be sig­nif­i­cantly cor­re­lated with ASD, while the asso­ci­a­tion was not found for women pre­scribed only non-SSRI anti­de­pres­sants or who had a his­tory of depres­sion but were not treated with either.

Accord­ing to the study, chil­dren whose moth­ers took SSRIs shortly before or dur­ing early preg­nancy were more than twice as likely to be diag­nosed with ASD. Find­ings were con­sid­ered pre­lim­i­nary, and the authors stated that more research is needed on this com­plex issue. Read more on this study here at the Sci­ence Daily online.

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