According to a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one out of every 10 Americans over the age of 12 is taking antidepressants. Women are more than two and a half times more likely to be taking antidepressants than men, with a third of those women taking the antidepressants for 2 – 5 years.
A recent study found that expectant mothers who take antidepressants within the year before their babies are born increase the likelihood that their babies will be born with Autism. The study found that the risk of their babies being born autistic more than doubled for mothers who took antidepressants within a year of birth. For those mothers who took antidepressants during their first trimester of pregnancy, their babies were almost four times more likely to be born autistic than babies born from mothers not taking antidepressants.
These findings are in addition to an earlier study that found that taking just one prescription of antidepressants increased the risk of a spontaneous abortion. Depending on the drug or drugs taken, the risk of spontaneous abortion increased between 68% and 251%.
Sadly, in the United States, approximately one out of eleven women of child-bearing age are currently taking antidepressants. And while all drugs have side effects, these are side effects are especially significant. Women who are considering pregnancy should be cautioned to strongly consider discontinuing the use of antidepressants and all other drugs several months if not longer before they intend to become pregnant.