Pregnancy outcomes following exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a meta-analysis of clinical trials

Reprod Toxicol. 2006 Nov;22(4):571-5. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2006.03.019. Epub 2006 May 23.


Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are extensively used in management of clinical depression. Reports vary about the risk of these drugs during pregnancy. To determine the risk of exposure to SRIs, we pooled data from multiple clinical studies that investigated obstetrical outcomes in women exposed to this group of drugs during pregnancy. Studies were identified by search of PUBMED, OVID, and SCOPUS databases and the data were derived from 1990 to 2005 (August). Types of outcome investigated were spontaneous abortion, major malformations, cardiovascular malformations, and minor malformations. The criteria for inclusion of studies in this meta-analysis were exposure of women to any therapeutic dosage of SRI (citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline) during pregnancy. Our results find that SRIs do not increase the risk of major, cardiovascular and minor malformations but do increase the risk of spontaneous abortion significantly.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors