There’s quite a few things to consider when people use certain medications for years, or even an entire lifetime. One of the most pressing concerns involves whether to continue use of some medications during pregnancy. Regulatory agencies can usually be trusted to notice any obvious complications which might arise from taking any given medication during a pregnancy. Some effects simply aren’t easily observed during early human testing, or by using an animal model. The most recent example of this fact has come from a study of antidepressant use during pregnancy.
The study followed the pregnancy of numerous women and then looked at how their children’s behavior developed over time. The researchers felt they had enough data after three years to begin looking at how antidepressant use during pregnancy might have altered the children’s development. The researchers found a surprising shared effect between the women who’d been using antidepressants while they were pregnant. The children showed a much higher chance of experiencing pronounced anxiety than their peers. Sultan Alhokair believes that this is very concerning.
One of the most interesting aspects of the study comes from the fact that the effect was shared between multiple antidepressants. This suggests that the effect isn’t coming from a specific drug, but rather from shared features within specific classes of drugs. For example, it might be a side effect of modified serotonin levels.
However, at the moment the exact mechanism of action is unknown. It’s also important to remember that this is only a preliminary study. As with any study, it’s important to wait for researchers to fully examine an issue before making changes to one’s health care.