Fluoxetine linked to higher malformation risk in infants

monochrome of pregnant belly

Use of this commonly prescribed antidepressant has been linked with an increased risk of birth defects, according to a recent analysis

Fluoxetine is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant in the world.

In the analysis of 16 studies, infants exposed to fluoxetine during the first trimester had an 18% increased relative risk of major malformations and a 36% increased relative risk of cardiovascular malformations.

There were no significant observations of other system-specific malformations in the nervous system, eye, urogenital system, digestive system, respiratory system, or musculoskeletal system.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

The researchers, from the Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China, searched the PubMed and Web of Science databases from inception to 21March 2016. Additional studies were identified in a manual search of the reference lists.

“The results of this meta-analysis indicate maternal fluoxetine use is associated with a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular malformations in infants,” they concluded.
“Health care providers and pregnant women must weigh the risk-benefit potential of these drugs when making decisions about whether to treat with fluoxetine during pregnancy.”

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