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THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take certain antidepressants during the first three months of pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of giving birth to babies with heart defects.
Septal heart defects -- malformations in the wall separating the right side of the heart from the left -- were more common among women taking antidepressants in the first trimester, Danish researchers found. Some of these heart defects resolve on their own, while others require surgery.
The risks were seen in sertraline (trade names Zoloft and Lustral) and in citalopram (Celexa), both of which belong to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Women who took more than one SSRI early in their pregnancy had a fourfold higher risk of having babies with this problem, said the authors of a study appearing online Sept. 24 in BMJ.