HealthDay News — Antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, study findings indicate.

Pregnant women who used antidepressants were more likely to develop pregnancy-induced hypertension (odds ratio=1.53) compared with those who did not, Mary A. De Vera, PhD, and Anick Bérard, PhD, of the Université de Montréal, reported online in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Because antidepressants are known to alter physiological interactions between vasodilator and vasoconstrictor autacoids in normal pregnancies, the researchers decided to evaluate the impact of antidepressant use on pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Continue Reading

They conducted a nested case-control study involving 1,216 women from the Quebec Pregnancy Registry diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension with or without preeclampsia, who did not have a history of prepregnancy hypertension. For each case, 10 controls were randomly selected and matched for date of diagnosis and gestational age. Antidepressant use during pregnancy was observed among 3.7% of cases and 2.5% of controls (OR=1.52).

Antidepressant use during pregnancy was significantly associated with an elevated risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension (OR=1.53), after adjusting for confounders. In stratified analysis, the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension was associated with use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (OR=1.60), more specifically, paroxetine (OR=1.81). 

“Overall these findings provide clinically relevant information on the risks of antidepressant use during pregnancy from the mother’s perspective and highlight the importance of future research evaluating the impact of gestational medication use on maternal outcomes,” the researchers wrote.

One of the researchers was a consultant in litigation involving antidepressants.

De Vera MA et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012; doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04196.x.