New Delhi: As per a recent survey, consuming anti-depressants during pregnancy can raise the chances of birth defects in your newborn.
The risk is high enough to merit caution in their use, especially since, in most cases, they are only marginally effective, the study says.
"In pregnancy, you`re treating the mother but you`re worried about the unborn child and the benefit needs to outweigh the risk," said the study`s senior author Anick Berard from Canada.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, examined the link to birth defects among depressed women.
They looked at 18,487 depressed women in the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort, a longitudinal, population-based grouping of 289,688 pregnancies recorded between 1998 to 2009.Of the women studied 3,640 -- around 20 percent -- took anti-depressants in the first three months.
"We only looked at the first trimester because this is where all the organ systems are developing.
At 12 weeks of gestation, the baby is formed," said Berard.
The findings indicate that anti-depressant use during this critical time-window has the potential to interfere with serotonin intake by the fetus, which can result in malformations.
(With ANI inputs)