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Research links antidepressants like Celexa to premature births

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Seattle, WADespite the physical and mental strain that is commonly shouldered by pregnant women, expectant mothers-to-be might want to stay clear of antidepressants medications, as a recent study sees drugs used to treat depression like Celexa linked to birth defects.

The study published by the University of Washington, claims that medicating depression before or during pregnancy could increase the likelihood of a preterm delivery.

"Women with depression face difficult decisions regarding the benefits and risks of using psychotropic medications in pregnancy," claims the study's lead author Amelia Gavin. "Therefore, a focus on disentangling medication effects and depression effects on mother and offspring health should be a major clinical priority."

The results echo those of a 2006 report connecting the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) depression medications like Celexa, with birth defects in children ranging from excessive sleepiness and weight loss to persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH).

PPH can cause abnormal blood flow to a baby's heart and lungs, depriving their bodies of oxygen and potentially leading to organ failure in the kidneys and brain. PPH is potentially fatal, claiming the lives of 20 percent of babies born with the disorder.

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