Risks of untreated depression in pregnancy

Justin Chan, Aniket Natekar, Adrienne Einarson, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Question In my family practice, I tell my female patients of reproductive age who have depression that untreated depression in pregnancy might be more harmful than the unproven risks of antidepressants. However, I recently read in a national news magazine that there is actually no evidence for this advice. Have I missed something? Answer You did not miss anything, so you should continue to advise your pregnant patients as before. News magazines can have substantial bias, as the reporters often only interview "experts" who support their beliefs, as was probably the case in this article. Most glaringly, in this instance, no perinatal psychiatrists were interviewed and none of the experts were clinically involved with pregnant women. We believe that media statements like the one you mentioned might lead women to abruptly discontinue their antidepressants, putting themselves at risk of relapse, hospitalization, and even suicide. Your balancing role in providing your patient with evidence-based information is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-243
Number of pages2
JournalCanadian Family Physician
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice


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