Objective: The authors analyzed prescribing for antidepressant medications during 27,328 prenatal visits in ambulatory settings in the United States between 2002 and 2010.
Methods: Data from the 2002-2010 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey were used to compare prescribing for antidepressant medication during visits for outpatient prenatal care between 2002-2006 and 2007-2010.
Results: Prenatal visits associated with a prescription for an antidepressant increased from .7% in 2002-2006 to 2.1% in 2007-2010 (p<.01). The proportion of prescriptions for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) declined (from 87% to 66%, p=.04), particularly for paroxetine (from 19% to <1%, p<.01).
Conclusions: Despite controversy over possible negative effects, prescribing of antidepressants during pregnancy increased between 2002 and 2010. SSRIs represented a smaller proportion of all antidepressants prescribed, and prescribing of paroxetine, likely in response to warnings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dropped dramatically.