Medical Alert: SSRI Antidepressants Linked to Cognitive and Developmental Deficits

The Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have confirmed that use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant, in late pregnancy can cause cognitive and developmental deficits in children.

Specifically, use of SSRIs is linked to the development of a breathing disorder called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns, or PPHN.

Initial symptoms of PPHN usually show up within a few days of birth, the most serious of which includes extreme difficulty breathing. While PPHN does require babies to be hospitalized, it does appear to be treatable in the short-term. However, PPHN can have a lasting impact, including lifelong developmental delays and cognitive defects.

SSRIs include:  Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, Celexa and more.

Visit Simmons Hanly Conroy SSRI practice area for more information about the risks.