More Evidence of Link Between Autism and Antidepressants

More Evidence of Link Between Autism and Antidepressants

April 24th, 2013 // 1:03 pm @

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A new study suggests that there could be a tentative connection between autism and antidepressant use by women who are pregnant.

This latest study comes from an analysis of medical and birth registries in Sweden. It found that exposure in utero to SSRIs and anti depressants could cause a higher risk of certain autism spectrum disorders.

The study was published in BMJ and it looked at antidepressant use and also the history of depression among parents, for births between 2001 and 2007. Altogether, researchers noted that use of antidepressants could explain about .7 percent of case of autism.

Another study that was published in 2011 reviewed the medical records of 1900 children, with 297 of them with autism. It was found that the risk of having an autism-afflicted child was two times as high with women who took antidepressants the year before they had children.

This slight association combines two explosive controversies – the many potential side effects of certain antidepressants, including Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, and also where autism comes from.

In the last few years, SSRIs have been determined to be related to thoughts of suicide in young users and also some birth defects.

Just as with the earlier study, this most recent analysis provides a warning about jumping to conclusions. Researchers stated in the latest study that there is a serious dilemma regarding clinical advice to women who are pregnant who have depression.

If certain antidepressents do cause a higher risk of autism, it could be reasonable to give a warning to women about this slight possibility. But if the association is actually related to the risk of autism as it relates to the non genetic effects of depression during some women’s pregnancies, treatment could cut down this risk.

Also, the study authors noted that good, informed decisions would also need to weigh the risks of NOT treating depression, along with the other adverse potential outcomes that relate to use of antidepressants.

But, due to the fact that antidepressants are used so widely, you might expect there to be more reported causes of autism.

It appears that if use of antidepressants DOES cause autism in some limited way, it still would explain under one percent of cases.

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