Patterns of Antidepressant Medication Use Among Pregnant Women in a United States Population

Authors

  • Dr Sura Alwan PhD,

    1. Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, and Child & Family Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Dr Jennita Reefhuis PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
      Address for correspondence: Jennita Reefhuis, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS E-86, Atlanta, GA 30333; e-mail: JReefhuis@cdc.gov.
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  • Dr Sonja A. Rasmussen MD, MS,

    1. National Center on Birth Defects and Development Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Dr Jan M. Friedman MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, and Child & Family Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • National Birth Defects Prevention Study


Address for correspondence: Jennita Reefhuis, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS E-86, Atlanta, GA 30333; e-mail: JReefhuis@cdc.gov.

Abstract

This article describes the pattern of reported antidepressant use around the time of pregnancy in a population-based sample of women who delivered live-born babies without birth defects. Data were used from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, an ongoing case-control study of risk factors for birth defects covering 10 US states. Mothers of live-born infants without birth defects (controls) born between 1998 and 2005 were randomly selected from each site. Information on the mother's characteristics and exposure to antidepressants was collected via a standardized telephone interview. Among 6582 mothers included in the study, 298 (4.5%) reported use of an antidepressant in the period of 3 months before through the end of pregnancy. Use of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors was reported most often (3.8%), followed by bupropion (0.7%). A statistically significant decline was observed, from 3.1% to 2.3% (P < .001), in reported use of antidepressants between the first and second month after conception. The frequency of reported antidepressant use at any time during pregnancy increased from 2.5% in 1998 to 8.1% in 2005 (P < .001) in 4 states. The findings show an increase in reported antidepressant use over a 9-year period and a substantial decrease in use around the usual time of pregnancy recognition.

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