SSRIs are the most common antidepressants used during pregnancy

  • Molenaar NM & al.
  • J Affect Disord
  • 09/12/2019

  • Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly used antidepressants during pregnancy around the world, with an international prevalence of 3.0%.
  • The highest prevalence was reported in North America at 5.46% and the lowest in Australasia at 1.35%.

Why this matters

  • The prevalence of antidepressant use during pregnancy has increased over time in countries included in the meta-analysis, with the largest increase reported between 2001 and 2013.

Study design

  • A meta-analysis of 40 studies collected after search of Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, and Google Scholar during 2019.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • The prevalence of antidepressants for SSRIs during pregnancy was 2.33% (95% CI, 2.32%-2.34%) using a fixed-effects model and 3.01% (95% CI, 2.29%-3.74%; P=.10) using a random-effects model.
  • Prevalence rates of SSRIs were:
    • Highest in North America: 5.46% (95% CI, 4.83%-6.10%); and
    • Lowest in Australasia: 1.35% (95% CI, 0.20%-2.50%).
  • Among all SSRIs, highest prevalence rates were seen for (P<.01 style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • Sertraline (1.10%);
  • Citalopram (0.77%); and
  • Fluoxetine (0.76%).

Limitations

  • Heterogeneity among studies.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm