A new study out of Denmark concludes that taking antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil during pregnancy, does not truly increase the likelihood of autism in the child.
In previous studies, it was suggested that a child was five times more likely to develop autism if their mother took these medications during pregnancy.
“More and more women are given antidepressant medication while they are pregnant, and an increasing number of children are diagnosed with autism,” researcher and author of the study Jakob Christensen says. “This has given rise to concern over a possible connection.”
This new study, published in Clinical Epidemiology, followed 600,000 autistic children born between the years of 1996 and 2006. Evidence showed that the risk of autism was minimal when taking antidepressants. Generally, the chances of having a child with autism are 1.5 percent. When taking antidepressants, the chances are 2 percent.
Christensen and his team of researchers from Aarhus University, also analyzed the siblings of the children with autism, which led to the finding that correlation between this medication and autism is considerably minimal.
“By analyzing data for siblings we can see that the risk of having a child with autism is largely the same regardless of whether the mother takes antidepressant medication or not during the pregnancy,” Christensen said.
There still may be other risks in taking antidepressants while pregnant, and Christensen encourages all parents to consult with their doctor before doing so.
For more information on the causes of autism, read here: http://www.icare4autism.org/what-is-autism/causes/