Risks of using SSRI / SNRI antidepressants during pregnancy and lactation

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At present, affective disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed mental diseases. In pregnancy, they can occur as pre-delivery depression, recurrent depressive disorder or postnatal depression. The estimated prevalence of depressive disorders in pregnancy is approximately 9–16%, with some statistics reporting up to 20%. Approximately 2–3% of pregnant women take antidepressants during pregnancy, and the number of mothers treated increases by birth to 5–7%. Treatment of depression during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a controversial issue, as antidepressants can negatively affect the developing fetus. According to epidemiological studies, the effects of treated depression in pregnancy are related to premature birth, decreased body weight of the child, intrauterine growth retardation, neonatal adaptive syndrome, and persistent pulmonary hypertension. However, untreated depression can adversely affect maternal health and increase the risk of preeclampsia and eclampsia, as well as of subsequent postnatal depression, which can lead to disruption of the mother-child relationship. Based on the above mentioned facts, the basic question arises as to whether or not to treat depression during pregnancy and lactation.

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