Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pregnancy study finds strong association between two antidepressants and heart anomalies

24.11.2008
Women who took the antidepressant fluoxetine during the first three months of pregnancy gave birth to four times as many babies with heart problems as women who did not and the levels were three times higher in women taking paroxetine.

Although some of the conditions were serious, others were not severe and resolved themselves without the need for medical intervention, according to a three-country study in the November issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Researchers have advised women taking the drugs to continue unless they are advised to stop by their doctor or consultant. But they are being urged to give up smoking, as the study also found that more than ten cigarettes a day was associated with a five-fold increase in babies with major heart problems.

The team has also suggested that women on fluoxetine should be given a foetal echocardiogram in their second trimester to diagnose possible heart anomalies.

International researchers from Israel, Italy and Germany followed the pregnancies of 2,191 women - 410 who had taken paroxetine during pregnancy, 314 who had taken fluoxetine and 1,467 controls who hadn’t taken either of the drugs.

“After we excluded genetic and cytogenic anomalies, we found a higher rate of major heart anomalies in the women who had been taking the antidepressants” says lead author Professor Asher Ornoy from the Israeli Teratology Information Service in Jerusalem, Israel.

“Further analysis showed a strong association between major heart anomalies and taking fluoxetine in the first trimester. Women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day also had more babies with heart anomalies.”

Women taking paroxetine or smoking less than ten cigarettes a day also faced elevated risks, but not to the same extent.

The women had all contacted either the Israeli Teratology Information Service in Jerusalem, Israel, the Servizio di Informazione Teratologica in Padua, Italy, or the Pharmakovigilanz-und Beratungszentrum fur Embryonaltoxikologie in Berlin, Germany.

All three belong to the European Network of Teratology Information Services, which comprises organisations that investigate, and provide counselling on, environmental exposure during pregnancy.

The women in the control group had contacted the services because of concerns about exposure to substances that are not known to cause birth defects and the women in the medication groups because of their use of paroxetine and fluoxetine.

When the researchers looked at the outcomes of all of the pregnancies they found that:

•The prevalence of major heart anomalies was 2.8% in the fluoxetine group, 2% in the paroxetine group and 0.6% in the control group. There was no increase in other major congenital anomalies.

•Previous pregnancy terminations were also higher in the fluoxetine and paroxetine groups than the control group (7.8%, 4.8% and 2.8%). All groups included some terminations because of diagnosed anomalies.

•Birth weights were slightly lower in the fluoxetine and paroxetine groups than the control group (3200g, 3250g and 3300g).

•Women taking fluoxetine and paroxetine were more likely to smoke than women in the control group (20.1%, 20.7% and 7.5%) and more likely to smoke more than ten cigarettes a day (12.3%, 14% and 4.4%).

Taking all the factors into account, the authors calculated that the overall risk posed by antidepressant use and cigarette consumption was as follows:

•Women who took fluoxetine during pregnancy were 4.47 times more likely to have a baby with a heart anomaly and women who took paroxetine were 2.66 times more likely.

•Those smoking more than ten cigarettes a day were 5.40 times more likely to have a baby with a heart anomaly and women smoking less than ten cigarettes a day were 2.75 times more likely.

“These findings clearly show a significant association between major heart anomalies and taking fluoxetine and smoking during pregnancy” says Professor Ornoy.

“There is an ongoing debate in the medical literature about the possible association between women taking one of these two drugs during pregnancy and having a baby with a heart anomaly and we are keen to see further research in this area.

“We should point out that there is no evidence of any increased risk posed by citalopram and sertraline, which belong to the same group of antidepressants.”

The authors say that it is important that women are aware of these findings, especially if they smoke. However if they are taking fluoxetine, they should speak to their family doctor or consultant and should not stop taking their medication unless advised to do so.

“It’s estimated that as many as one in seven women suffer from clinical depression during pregnancy and clinicians need to weigh up the individual risks of pregnant women taking, or not taking, drugs like fluoxetine” stresses Professor Ornoy.

“Many heart anomalies can now be treated, so it is important to bear that in mind when making a decision about whether or not to continue with one of these drugs during pregnancy. The health of the mother and the baby are both important.

“We hope that this study will provide both doctors and pregnant women on antidepressants with some of the information they need to help them make those difficult decisions.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bjcp-journal.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>