Use of antidepressant medications during pregnancy: a multisite study

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Antidepressive Agents; Databases, Factual; Depressive Disorder; *Drug Utilization Review; Female; Health Maintenance Organizations; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Middle Aged; Physician's Practice Patterns; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications; Prenatal Care; Retrospective Studies; Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors; United States


Health Services Research | Maternal and Child Health | Primary Care


OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to provide information on the prevalence of use of antidepressant drugs among pregnant women in the United States.

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective study was conducted using the automated databases of 7 health plans. Women who delivered an infant in a hospital were identified. Antidepressant drug use was evaluated assuming a gestational duration of 270 days.

RESULTS: Among the 118,935 deliveries occurring from 2001-2005, 6.6% of women were dispensed an antidepressant during pregnancy. Antidepressant drug use increased from 2.0% in 1996 to 7.6% of deliveries in 2004 and 2005. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use increased from 1.5% in 1996 to 6.4% in 2004 and 6.2% in 2005.

CONCLUSION: Our finding that nearly 8% of pregnant women were prescribed antidepressants drugs during the years 2004 and 2005 highlights the importance of understanding the effects of these medications on the developing fetus and on the pregnant woman.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Feb;198(2):194.e1-5. Epub 2007 Oct 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID