Original Research

SSRI use in pregnancy: Evaluating the risks and benefits

Elsa du Toit, Eileen Thomas, Liezl Koen, Bavi Vythilingum, Stoffel Grobler, Nadine Smith, Dana Niehaus
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 21, No 2 | a587 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v21i2.587 | © 2015 Elsa du Toit, Eileen Thomas, Liezl Koen, Bavi Vythilingum, Stoffel Grobler, Nadine Smith, Dana Niehaus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2014 | Published: 01 May 2015

About the author(s)

Elsa du Toit, Sophia Clinic, Panorama, Cape Town, South Africa
Eileen Thomas, Maternal Mental Health Clinic, Stikland Hospital and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Liezl Koen, Maternal Mental Health Clinic, Stikland Hospital and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Bavi Vythilingum, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Stoffel Grobler, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Nadine Smith, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Dana Niehaus, Maternal Mental Health Clinic, Stikland Hospital and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are considered the primary pharmacological treatment for moderate to severe depression during pregnancy. Data regarding the safety of their use during pregnancy remain controversial and conflicting. Decisions regarding the prescription of antidepressant treatment are often fraught with concern around potential harmful medication effects on the pregnancy, fetus and infant. Information on potential risks remains extremely varied and inconsistent across sources. This lack of clarity regarding drug safety brings significant uncertainty not only for treating physicians, but also for women seeking information about depression during pregnancy. This review aims to summarise and evaluate the current evidence base and to aid clinicians in performing a risk/benefit analysis for SSRI use during pregnancy and lactation.

 

Keywords

SSRI; pregnancy; psychiatric illness

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1470
Total article views: 523


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.