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Antidepressants in pregnancy and autism

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There have been hints from previous literature that antidepressants taken by pregnant women may have an effect on fetal brain development, and specifically may predispose to autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers in Quebec used a registry covering the Province's entire population to try and establish whether such a link exists (Boukhris T, et al. JAMA Peds 2015. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.3356). They identified over 145 000 infants born between 1998 and 2009, in whom they could analyse data on prescribing antidepressant drugs immediately before or during pregnancy. …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.