SSRI use during fertility treatments shows little benefit to mother or fetus

depression SSRI use during fertility treatments shows little benefit to mother or fetusDepressed women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) who are also undergoing infertility treatment may be more likely not to conceive, to suffer complications with pregnancy, and to have a baby with birth defects, a new meta-analysis shows.

Women undergoing infertility treatments often battle depression. A study published in Medical News Today investigated depressed women undergoing infertility treatment and the risks to their fetuses while taking SSRIs. The new meta-analysis took a different approach than past studies, investigating the safety and efficacy of infertile women being treated with SSRIs.

Researchers culled through studies and found that SSRI is associated with lowered effectiveness of infertility treatment. It is also tied to an increased risk of miscarriage, difficulties during pregnancy, preterm birth, neonatal complications, and behavioral problems in babies exposed in utero. An increased risk of a lung defect known as newborn persistent pulmonary hypertension was also noted. In no instances was treatment with SSRIs shown to improve outcome for the pregnancies studied.

SSRIs include the brand names Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Prozac. They are prescribed to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, bulimia nervosa, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Researchers with the meta-analysis recommended that physicians who are caring for women with fertility issues consider the risks associated with SSRI use and consider recommending other treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, physical exercise, and some form of counseling instead of the drugs.

Source: Oxford Journals