Objective: To determine the risk of congenital cardiac abnormalities associated with use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy.
Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the medical records of all pregnant women presenting at Mayo Clinic's site in Rochester, MN, from January 1, 1993, to July 15, 2005, and identified 25,214 deliveries. A total of 808 mothers were treated with SSRIs at some point during their pregnancy. We reviewed the medical records of the newborns exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy to analyze their outcomes, specifically for congenital heart disease and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.
Results: Of the study patients, 808 (3.2%) took an SSRI at some point during the antenatal period. Of the 25,214 deliveries, 208 newborns (0.8%) were diagnosed as having congenital heart disease. Of the 808 women exposed to SSRI during pregnancy, 3 (0.4%) had congenital heart disease compared with 205 (0.8%) of the 24,406 women not exposed to an SSRI (P=.23). Of the total number of deliveries, 16 newborns were diagnosed as having persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, none of whom had exposure to SSRIs (P>.99).
Conclusion: Our data are reassuring regarding the safety of using SSRIs during pregnancy.