MotherToBaby Arizona Offers Free Help in Evaluating Use of Antidepressants During Pregnancy

Expectant mothers, health-care professionals and others concerned about recent news regarding the prenatal use of antidepressants and autism can call the free and confidential statewide public health service for more information.

MotherToBaby Arizona urges expectant mothers, health-care professionals and others concerned about recent news regarding the prenatal use of antidepressants to seek more information by calling the free and confidential statewide public health service.

“A research study released this week suggests a possible connection between the prenatal use of SSRI antidepressants and an increase in autism,” says Dee Quinn, MS, CGC, director of MotherToBaby Arizona. “Since no single study provides a complete picture, it is important to review all of the available literature, as well as providing a risk vs. benefit analysis for the treatment of depression in an individual woman. This individualized review should include the effects of untreated maternal depression and the various treatments that are available.”

MotherToBaby Arizona, part of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, provides evidence-based information to parents, health-care professionals and the general public about exposures to drugs, chemicals and other substances during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The genetic counselors at MotherToBaby Arizona help women evaluate their personal situations and assess their risks.

SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRI antidepressants include brands such as Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft.

“People who have questions about this study or any exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding should call us at 888-285-3410 or, in the Tucson area, at 520-626-3410. We are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays,” Quinn says.

Phone messages will be returned as soon as possible. Callers with an urgent matter also can contact an Arizona poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

From the MotherToBaby Arizona website (http://azpoison.com/pregnancy-riskline), you also can submit a question by email.