US Pharm. 2014;39(9):55.

Boston, MA—Earlier studies suggesting an increased risk of autism in children born to women who took antidepressants during pregnancy may actually reflect the known increased risk associated with severe maternal depression. A study by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital examined health-records data for about 1,400 children diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (which includes autism) and more than 4,000 matched controls without this diagnosis and paired the children’s information with that of their mothers, including factors related to diagnosis and treatment of major depression. Although a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder was more common in children whose mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy than in those without prenatal exposure, when severity of maternal depression was accounted for, the increased risk was no longer significant.

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