Study tracks antidepressant use during pregnancy
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Almost half of New Zealand women who take antidepressants in the months before getting pregnant, stop during their pregnancy, a new study shows.

Depression during pregnancy is associated with several negative impacts on maternal and infant health, therefore good control of depression in pregnant women is crucial. The aim was to describe antidepressant dispensing patterns before, during, and after pregnancy in New Zealand, 2005–2014.

Antidepressant dispensing records from 270 days before pregnancy to 360 days after pregnancy ended were linked with 805 990 pregnancies in the New Zealand Pregnancy Cohort. Proportions with at least one dispensing were calculated for the periods before, during, and after pregnancy and compared over time and by maternal characteristics.

Results were;

--Dispensing during the first trimester was lower than in the pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy periods, and dropped further in later trimesters.

--The proportion of pregnancies during which an antidepressant was dispensed rose from 3.1 to 4.9% over the study years.

--Around 80% of those with a dispensing received a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

--During and after pregnancy, dispensing varied by ethnicity, age, smoking status, and body mass index. Among women taking an antidepressant before pregnancy, younger women and those of M?ori, Pacific, or Asian ethnicity were less likely to continue therapy during pregnancy.

In particular, this study has established a baseline for antidepressant use around pregnancy, documented increasing use over time, and demonstrated that known ethnic differences in antidepressant use are also evident in the pregnant population.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Source: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajo.13352
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