SSRIs and birth defects

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 16, 2007

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Use of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy does not significantly increase the risk for most birth defects, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

The study, published in the June 28 New England Journal of Medicine, found no significant increase in the risks for the majority of birth defects assessed when all SSRIs were studied together. This includes the risk for congenital heart defects, which was linked with SSRI use in previous studies. Researchers did find associations between SSRI use and three specific birth defects. In each case, the increased risk was minimal and had not been detected before. They include a defect in the brain, a type of abnormal skull development and a gastrointestinal abnormality. The CDC plans to continue to study these associations to clarify if a true risk exists. In the same NEJM, a second study on SSRI use did not find such overall associations with birth defects but did highlight associations between specific SSRIs and several birth defects.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn