Background Prescription rates of antidepressant medication during pregnancy range from 2.0% in the Netherlands to 13.4% in the USA. Concern has risen about the long-term effects of prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on the developing child.
Aim Determine the effect of prenatal exposure to SSRIs on neurodevelopment at 2.5 years.
Methods During pregnancy, 107 mother-infant pairs were included, of whom 63 were SSRI-exposed (SSRI-group) and 44 non-exposed (non SSRI). In both groups maternal depression and anxiety were measured using questionnaires (Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Spielberger’s State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), respectively).
At age 2.5 years 102 infants were tested using the Bailey Scales of Infant Development 3th edition (cognitive, fine motor and gross motor scales). Scaled scores (SS) were used for statistical analysis.
Conclusions SSRI-exposed children perform significantly worse on the cognitive and gross motor scale of the BSID-III, independent of maternal depression, anxiety, education, smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy.