London: Some popular antidepressants in early pregnancy could double the risk of an unborn child developing a heart defect, an expert has warned.

Professor Stephen Pilling of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), said that evidence suggests that there is a risk associated with the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a leading channel reported.

He said that a lot of effort is put in to dissuade women from smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy, however, it’s not the same with antidepressant medication, which may be carrying similar - if not greater - risks.

Pilling said that the guidance is now going be re-written to take in to account evidence that the SSRI antidepressants, as a group, are associated to heart defects in babies.

He asserted that the risk of a child being born with a heart defect is around two in 100; but the new evidence shows that if the mother took an SSRI during early pregnancy the risk raises to around four in 100.


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