Study: Antidepressants taken during pregnancy linked to increase in autism

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new study published Monday said mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to have children diagnosed with autism.

In the study, JAMA Pediatrics said women who took antidepressants in the last six months of pregnancy were 87 percent more likely to have a child later diagnosed with autism.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey in 2014, in the U.S. about 2.2 percent of children ages 3 to 17, which is about one in 45, have autism.

Autism causes people to have difficulty with social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communications. They are also more likely to have repetitive behaviors.

Doctors said women shouldn’t stop taking their medications because of one study because depression is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.

Paul Wang, head of medical research at the advocacy group Autism Speaks, said other studies have found no link between autism and antidepressants.

Wang said pregnant women who are concerned about their medications should talk to their doctor about their options.

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