An excellent fellow health care practitioner in a complimentary field recently sent me a question regarding a new study that he had seen published. He was concerned because he was seeing an increasing number of his pregnant women patients come in on moderate to significant doses of SSRI’s. The study that he cited specifically linked SSRI use during pregnancy to autism and developmental delays in boys and was released April 15th 2014 by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This got my attention. I had previously been relatively sanguine about the use of SSRI’s in pregnant women, preferring both fluoxetine (Prozac ® ) and sertraline (Zoloft ® ) because of their decades long use and the lack of emergence of significant birth defects or problems in children born to mothers taking these drugs.
So I did what I always do when faced with a question that I really don’t know the complete answer to, and went to the peer-reviewed medical literature on www.pubmed.gov. Here is what I found (author and attribution is clearly cited):