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Prenatal exposure to antidepressants is associated with small but significant differences in pregnancy and delivery outcomes

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Question: Is prenatal exposure to antidepressants associated with adverse pregnancy or delivery outcomes?

Outcomes: Pregnancy and delivery outcomes included spontaneous abortion (defined as pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks’ gestation), premature delivery (as defined in the primary research article), gestational age, birth weight and 1 and 5 min Apgar scores.


Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources: MEDLINE, In Process MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature and Scopus, were searched from inception to June 2010. Reference lists of reviews and meta-analyses were searched for additional primary studies. Requests for missing data were sent to original study authors when necessary.

Study selection and analysis: English language studies comparing pregnancy or delivery outcomes between pregnant women exposed to pharmacological antidepressants (eg, selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and non-exposed pregnant women were eligible for inclusion. Studies were only included if they provided sufficient data to calculate an effect size and SE. Random effects models were used to calculate an overall effect size for each outcome. Relative risks and OR were treated …

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  • Sources of funding Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Ontario Ministry of Health and Longterm Care.


  • Competing interests None.

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