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Pregnant Women Treated with Antidepressant Require Re-evaluation of Psychiatric Treatment, Study Suggests

A recent study suggest that a re-evaluation of psychiatric treatment is needed for pregnant women treated with antidepressant, emphasizing the necessity for focusing on obstetric complications for severely depressed pregnant women.

Photo: Pregnant Woman Treated with Antidepressant | InStyleHealth

Researchers stated that, “Additionally, as relapse was associated with increased benzodiazepine use, it is important to carefully monitor all women who stop antidepressant treatment during pregnancy.”

The study aimed to monitor the trajectories of antidepressant use during pregnancy and the postpartum period among women chronically treated with antidepressants prior to their pregnancy, as well as to evaluate the characteristics correlated with each trajectory.

Additionally, the study included the data of all pregnant women in the General Sample of Beneficiaries (EGB) database affiliated with the French Health Insurance System from 2009 to 2014. The participants were monitored until 6 months after childbirth.

Chronic treatment was defined in this study as exposure over the 6-month period preceding pregnancy. The researchers estimated a group-based trajectory model to identify distinctive longitudinal profiles of antidepressant usage.

There was a total of 760 women were chronically treated with antidepressants before their pregnancy, of whom 55.8% discontinued therapy permanently in the first semester, 20.4% stopped for a minimum of 3 months and resumed postpartum, and 23.8% maintained treatment throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

There was no sociodemographic or medical characteristics correlated with any trajectory group. Obstetric complications and postpartum psychiatric disorders happened more frequently to those women who are keeping their treatment.

For those with interrupted use of antidepressants, prescription of benzodiazepines and anxiolytics reduced at first but increased postpartum to a higher level than before pregnancy.

For complete details of this study, click here.


Source: Br J Clin Pharmacol 2021;87:965-987

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