Pharmacotherapy for Perinatal Depression

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Sep;61(3):544-561. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000365.


Perinatal depression is associated with serious risks for the mother, baby, and family. When considering treating perinatal depression with a drug indicated for the treatment of depression, the major concerns are whether the drug increases the risks of teratogenicity, pregnancy complications, poor neonatal adaptation, or neurodevelopmental disorders. Although different studies have produced different results, the majority have not shown increases in risk for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, or the noradrenergic/dopaminergic drug bupropion. In this review we will discuss the reproductive safety data for these medications as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors and benzodiazepines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced
  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Child Development
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology
  • Premature Birth
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Bupropion
  • Benzodiazepines