Monthly Archives: June 2013

SSRIs and Benzodiazepines: Reproductive Safety of Combined Treatment

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently combined with benzodiazepines for the management of anxiety disorders or major depression with comorbid anxiety.  While we have data regarding the reproductive safety of both the SSRIs and benzodiazepines, we have much less information on outcomes in women taking SSRIs and benzodiazepines together.  A previous study (Oberlander 2008) found that neither the use of an SSRI alone nor the use of a benzodiazepine alone increased the risk for congenital malformation; however, in this study, the combined use of the two drugs increased the risk of cardiovascular defect. A recent study reassesses the risk of major malformation in women taking SSRIs combined with benzodiazepines.

Prevalence and Trends in the Use of Antipsychotic Medications during Pregnancy

Since their introduction in the 1990s, atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics have replaced typical (first generation) antipsychotics as the first-line treatment for schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. These drugs are widely used by reproductive age women across many other disease states including bipolar disorder, major depression and anxiety disorders as either primary or adjunctive treatments.

Mild to Moderate Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy Associated with Lower Cognitive Functioning

Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis. We have known for a long time that severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy may affect the cognitive development of the unborn child.  According to a recent Lancet study, even children born to women with mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy are at increased risk for lower IQ and reading ability (assessed at age 9).  The most severe effects were observed among children born to women with severe deficiency (<50 mcg/g iodine:creatinine ratio).