Correlation Between Autism and Taking Anti Depression Medication While Pregnant?

Updated on January 12, 2013
M.G. asks from Flower Mound, TX
14 answers

Does anyone know if you take anti depression medication while pregnant - is there a higher risk that the baby will have Autism? Thanks!

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answers from St. Louis on

I never took any and my third is AS. He is also just like his dad.

It is genetic with some factors that can make it worse.

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answers from Dallas on

I was on anti-depression medications for all three of my kids, no autism (well, one is six weeks old...). I've not heard of any correlation, my pedi never mentioned any correlation, and honestly there's a hyper-focus on autism lately. People are correlating it with everything they can correlate it to, and it's just no one really knows. It's always best to avoid meds during pregnant but some people can't so you do what you can.

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answers from New York on

To my knowledge, no -- no correlation whatsoever.

Many antidepressants are contraindicated during pregnancy, but not because of any known autism link.

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answers from Denver on

Keep in mind that depression is anger turned inward. Where are your boundaries being crossed? Do you have good boundaries? How good are you at saying no? Are you feeling overwhelmed in your day to day life? Do you have permission to ask for help?

Often, we supress our anger because we feel it is unacceptable. We think that we should be "nice" and not be "too sensitive." We are often afraid of hurting other people's feelings and therefore give ourselves away. All of this actually creates anger and if we stuff that anger we will become depressed.

There are many other ways to overcome depression than just medication. If you are concerned then seek out other types of help. Groups, counseling, coaching, anger release techniques, self-care, asking for help for everyday tasks, getting plenty of sleep (incl. naps), creating time just for you, healing unresolved childhood woundings, etc

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answers from San Francisco on

I think this is something you should ask your doctor.

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answers from Portland on

I was on Zoloft when I was pregnant with both of my kiddos and no autism here. I did A LOT of research to make sure that it was ok for my kids and I did not see ONE single thing about autism; there were a lot of other issues, and Zoloft was the safest for the longest amount of time, at least in my and my husband's opinion. We both did a lot of soul searching to make sure we were ok with the risks during pregnancy. The only real one was that the development of the lungs can be affected so I stopped in the third trimester both times. Their lungs were fine.

Now, for the person who told you that depression is just anger turned inward. That is the biggest pile of horse#### I have ever heard!!! I am not saying that it doesn't play a role, but for many people it is an actual chemical imbalance in the brain. If it wasn't then the medication wouldn't help and work. There is research that is now showing that the genetic component to depression is similar to the genetic componet to things like addiction and alcoholism. But maybe those are just anger being expressed incorrectly also. Oh, and maybe fat people should just stop eating.

Ok, I'm off of my soap box now, but really, if you are pregnant and need antidepressants, do you own research if you need to, but if you need to take the meds, then do! I didn't at first and suffered from severe anti-partum depression. (this was a thread not too long ago on here).

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answers from Dallas on

I don't know about Autism specifically, but generally it's recommended that medications be stopped or changed re. side effects in general. Have you talked to your doctor about this? Regardless of what we say, you need to manage your meds under a doctors care.

You might find info on

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I doubt it. There is so much focus on Autism, if it was this simple, I think they would be all over this. It is def best to NOT be on anit depressants while pregnant if you can help it though. Not everyone can stop for that long, but if you can, you should.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

No link. Correlation is not causation. Autism could just as well be tied to the depression and many, many other genetic contributions and is far more likely to be genetic than caused by any one single medication taken during a specific time during pregnancy.

If I want to blame myself for my daughter's Autism, the correlation is the fact that I have Fibromyalgia and complicating factors. I didn't even know it at the time I was pregnant.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I don't think so. I wasn't on meds and my son has it. I think Autism has been around for a very long time.



answers from Augusta on

I was on antidepressants while pregnant with my son, no Autism.

I don't know if there is a correlation, From what I've read it looks like it's leaning toward a genetic link with Autism .



answers from Dallas on

Hi M. G!

I have not heard anything specifically about depression medication while pregnant and autism. You may want to consider checking out the book, Gut And Psychology Syndrome, by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. She addresses autism as one element of her book. I've read from several mom's (including this doctor) who healed their children from autism. Here's a link to the book on Amazon:

Hope this helps!

God's Grace to You,

Lisa :)



answers from Philadelphia on

I've never been on antidepressants and, yet, my son is on the spectrum. I've never heard of an antidepressant/Autism correlation. Has something new on the subject been published or something?



answers from New York on

I believe something came out recently about a correlation - Google it. But it's all speculation. When I was considering another pregnancy, I told my dr, that I was on Zoloft. She said that she would like it if I went off during the first trimester. I told her that I was so anxious my entire pregnancy so she told me forget it - stay and and be healthy mentally.

It's definitely something you should chat with your doctor about.

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