Publication

In utero exposure to antidepressants and the use of drugs for pulmonary diseases in children

ter Horst, P. G. J., Bos, H. J., de Jong-van de Berg, L. T. W. & Wilffert, B., Mar-2013, In : European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 69, 3, p. 541-547 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Purpose The use of antidepressants during pregnancy is common. Some studies suggest an association between in utero exposure to antidepressants and the occurrence of pulmonary diseases like asthma later in life. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as well tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are thought to be involved in the development of the respiratory rhythm generator (RRG) and the maturation of the formation of surfactant. In this study the use of drugs for pulmonary diseases in children who were exposed to antidepressants in utero were compared with non-exposed children.

Methods The pharmacy prescription database IADB.nl was used for a cohort study in which the use of drugs for pulmonary disease in children after in utero exposure to antidepressants (TCAs, SSRIs) was compared with children with no antidepressant exposure in utero. Drugs for pulmonary diseases were applied as a proxy for disturbed development of the respiratory tract.

Results A small though significant increase in the incidence risk ratio (IRR) of the use of drugs for pulmonary disease was found after any-time in utero exposure to SSRIs, adjusted for maternal use of antibiotics, of 1.17 (95 % CI 1.16-1.18). An increase was also seen when we looked specifically for the use of SSRIs in at least the first trimester (IRR=1.18, 95 % CI 1.17-1.20). An increased IRR in the use of drugs for pulmonary disease was also seen when children were exposed to TCAs, but this was not statistically significant. However, in both groups our sample size was rather small. The effect size is modest and may also be confounded by maternal smoking.

Conclusions In utero exposure to SSRIs leads to a statistically significant increase in the use of drugs for pulmonary diseases, especially when exposure occurred during the first trimester of pregnancy. The increase in the use of drugs for pulmonary disease may also be related to other factors. Therefore, further study is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume69
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2013

    Keywords

  • Antidepressants, In utero exposure, Asthma, Teratogenicity, SEROTONIN-REUPTAKE INHIBITORS, POPULATION-BASED COHORT, CONGENITAL-MALFORMATIONS, MEDICATION USE, BIRTH-DEFECTS, MATERNAL USE, PREGNANCY, RISK, HYPERTENSION, 1ST-TRIMESTER

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