Two studies have suggested a link between prenatal exposure to antidepressant medication and autism spectrum disorders. We are pleased to learn: that does not appear to be the case!
Not surprisingly, the studies mentioned above received a lot of attention and created a lot of concern for women taking antidepressant medications, and their partners, who planned to have or grow their families. Luckily, a larger follow-up study has been released, which addressed the limitations of the earlier research. The recent study suggested that in fact there was not a significant association between mothers who took antidepressant medications during their pregnancy and the risk of their offspring developing autism spectrum disorders. This is excellent news for a number of women we see who want to safely manage their mood concerns with medication, while keeping the best interest of their future children in mind. Please click on the link to review the article in full.
Additional research is necessary to better understand the genetic and environmental causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). For more information about ASDs, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.