Panic Disorder, GAD Not Linked to Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Benzodiazepines and serotonin reuptake inhibitors can slightly shorten the duration of gestation


WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, but medications can slightly shorten the duration of gestation, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Kimberly Ann Yonkers, M.D., from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues recruited women at 137 obstetric practices before 17 weeks of pregnancy and reassessed them at 28 (±4) weeks of pregnancy, and eight (±4) weeks postpartum. The final analysis included 2,654 women.

Overall, 98 women had panic disorder, 252 had GAD, 67 were treated with a benzodiazepine, and 293 were treated with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor during pregnancy. The researchers observed no correlation for panic disorder or GAD with maternal or neonatal complications of interest, in adjusted models. There was a correlation for maternal benzodiazepine use with cesarean delivery, low birth weight, and use of ventilator support for the newborn (odds ratios, 2.45, 3.41, and 2.85, respectively). Maternal serotonin reuptake inhibitor use correlated with hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, preterm birth, and use of minor respiratory interventions (odds ratios, 2.82, 1.56, and 1.81, respectively). With maternal benzodiazepine and serotonin reuptake inhibitor use, the duration of gestation was shortened by 3.6 and 1.8 days, respectively.

"Clinicians and patients need to consider both maternal illness and treatment needs in addition to risks associated with offspring when making treatment decisions in pregnancy," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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