Pregnancy and SSRIs - Cannot rule out a significant increase in risk of major malformaion in fetus
Clinical Bottom Line
- It is impossible to exclude a significant risk. Until this gets sorted out properly, it would probably be prudent to avoid exposure to SSRIs unless absolutely necessary
- If this result is true, the NNH to cause one additional major malformation from exposure to an SSRI is 455
Kulin, NA. Pastuszak, A; Sage, AR et al Pregnancy outcome following maternal use of the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a prospective controlled multicenter study. JAMA 279 (8):609-610, 1998.
In patients taking sertraline therapy what is the likelihood of an adverse outcome to pregancy?
PubMed using the filter for aetiology studies and selecting a sensitive search with the terms "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors" and "pregnancy".
Prospective cohort of women attending Teratology Information Service centres in United States and Canada regarding exposure to fluvoxamine, paroxetine or sertraline during first trimester. Controls were women followed by the Motherisk Programme after exposure to agents proven to be non-teratogenic.
|Present (Case)||Absent (Control)|
|Exposed to SSRI||Yes (Cohort)||
a + b
c + d
a + c
b + d
In this study:
Odds ratio (OR) = ad/bc
Odds ratio (OR) = 1.06 (95% Confidence interval 0.41 to 2.72)
- Individuals on SSRIs had more parity, previous abortions and tobacco consumption than controls. No adjustment for these confounders was attempted but it is likely that any bias would increase the observed association.
- The study included several SSRIs - fluvoxamine, paroxetine and does not examine them individually. We have to assume that they have similar effects. There are other studies investigating fluoxetine.
- There are only 18 events in the whole cohort