Objective: To assess whether the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, mirtazapine, venlafaxine or other antidepressants is associated with late elective termination of pregnancy.
Design: Case-control study using data from national registers.
Setting: Denmark, Finland, and Norway during the period 1996-2007.
Population: A total of 14,902 women were included as cases and 148,929 women were included as controls.
Methods: Cases were women with elective termination of pregnancy at 12-23 weeks of gestation. Controls continued their pregnancy and were matched with cases on key factors.
Main outcome measures: Association between antidepressant use during pregnancy and elective termination of pregnancy at 12-23 weeks of gestation for fetal anomalies, or for maternal ill health or socio-economic disadvantage.
Results: At least one prescription of antidepressants was filled by 3.7% of the cases and 2.2% of the controls. Use of any type of antidepressant was associated with elective termination of pregnancy for maternal ill health or socio-economic disadvantage (odds ratio, OR 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI 2.0-2.5). Elective termination of pregnancy for fetal anomalies was associated with the use of mirtazapine (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.5). There was no association between the use of any of the other antidepressants and elective termination of pregnancy for fetal anomalies.
Conclusion: The use of any type of antidepressants was associated with elective termination of pregnancy at 12-23 weeks for maternal ill health or socio-economic disadvantage, but not with terminations for fetal anomalies. Further studies need to confirm the findings concerning mirtazapine and termination of pregnancy for fetal anomalies.
Keywords: Antidepressants; fetal anomaly; socio-economic disadvantage; termination of pregnancy.
© 2014 The Authors. BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.