Antidepressant Use Linked to Pregnancy-Induced HTN

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, specifically paroxetine, increase risk of hypertension

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, according to a study published online March 21 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

To investigate the impact of antidepressant use during pregnancy on the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, Mary A. De Vera, Ph.D., and Anick Bérard, Ph.D., of the Université de Montréal, conducted a nested case-control study within the Quebec Pregnancy Registry. A total of 1,216 women with a diagnosis of pregnancy-induced hypertension, with or without pre-eclampsia, and with no history of pre-pregnancy hypertension, were identified. For each case, 10 controls were randomly selected, matched for date of diagnosis and gestational age.

The researchers found that antidepressant use during pregnancy was seen among 3.7 percent of cases and 2.5 percent of controls (odds ratio [OR], 1.52). Antidepressant use during pregnancy was significantly associated with an elevated risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension (OR, 1.53), after adjusting for confounders. In stratified analysis, the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension was associated with use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (OR, 1.60), more specifically, paroxetine (OR, 1.81).

"Overall these findings provide clinically relevant information on the risks of antidepressant use during pregnancy from the mother's perspective and highlight the importance of future research evaluating the impact of gestational medication use on maternal outcomes," the authors write.

One of the authors was a consultant in litigation involving antidepressants.

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