The results revealed that certain SSRI drugs triggered SSRI birth defects in some of the infants—specifically, a defect in the septum that separates the two halves of the heart.
The study was published in the medical journal BMJ and drew comment from Cathy Ross of the British Heart Foundation. "Anyone who is pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and has any concerns about the treatment for depression should speak to their doctor," Ross was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
The concern over SSRI Side Effects continues to fuel a debate amongst doctors and health care professionals. Depression is a widespread condition, and while treatment options are constantly expanding, many of those treatment options come in pill form.
While there is a risk to a developing fetus if SSRI antidepressants are continued during the important first trimester, there is an equal risk to both mother and fetus if SSRI drugs are discontinued.
The lack of foreign chemicals in the mother's bloodstream proves a benefit to the developing fetus.
And yet, doctors and psychologists acknowledge depression that's left untreated can also trigger stress and emotional disquiet that could negatively impact the baby.
Should women suffering from depression avoid getting pregnant in the first place? The debate continues to rage, and a definitive resolution may never be found.
READ MORE SSRI LEGAL NEWS
The Denmark study noted that one extra heart defect (to the septum) was found to develop for every 246 women prescribed and using an SSRI within a window extending from 28 to 112 days following conception.
The SSRI birth defects were found to range from minor issues with blood vessels, to outright holes in the heart. The latter often requires surgery, can be life threatening, and can impact a child for the remainder of his or her natural life. The tragedy, say child advocates, is the fact that some women are medicated for relatively minor bouts of depression. While SSRI drugs are necessary to treat serious depression, SSRI birth defects in children borne of mothers taking SSRI drugs for mild depression remains the most tragic of outcomes.