Antidepressants and Autism Spectrum Disorders

SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) including Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft have been linked to an increased risk of autism.Antidepressants including Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac and have been linked to an increased risk of autism. A report published in Archives of General Psychiatry reveals new research that links the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.

After examining medical records, researchers found a “2-fold increased risk of ASD associated with treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors by the mother during the year before delivery, with the strongest effect associated with treatment during the first trimester.” The medical records came from the Childhood Autism Perinatal Study, which was conducted by Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program in Northern California.

“Results suggest that exposure, especially during the first trimester, may modestly increase the risk of ASD,” researchers concluded, adding that further studies will be needed to replicate and extend their findings. Antidepressant Meds Could Increase Risk of Autism