Investigating potential fetal exposure to antidepressants
News Feb 03, 2016
Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus's health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother's decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice. They report their findings in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.
In recent years, the number of pregnant women taking antidepressants has been on the rise. Studies have suggested that common antidepressants known as selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could affect the health of these women's children. How they might do this is unclear. For example, pregnancy could affect the metabolism of SSRIs in the body and in turn a fetus's exposure to them. Alexandre Bonnin and colleagues at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute (University of Southern California) wanted to gain more insight into how SSRIs are metabolized and travel in mothers and their fetuses.
The researchers administered a widely prescribed SSRI, citalopram, to pregnant mice and tracked what happened to the drug. They found that the medication and its primary metabolite travel quickly to fetuses and their brains.
Also, two hours after administrating the drug, the fetuses had higher concentrations of the drug in their blood than their mothers. In addition, they found important differences in fetal drug exposure depending on the stage of pregnancy. Further work will be needed to see whether SSRIs might act similarly in humans and what effect this exposure might have on fetuses.
Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Velasquez JC et al. Maternal Pharmacokinetics and Fetal Disposition of (±)-Citalopram during Mouse Pregnancy. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Published Online January 14 2016. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00287
People with Schizophrenia Account for More than 1 in 10 Suicide CasesNews
Suicide risk assessments early in the course of illness should be emphasized, researchers say.READ MORE
Alzheimer’s Breakthrough: Brain Metals that May Drive Disease Progression RevealedNews
Understanding the impact and management of these metals could lead to more effective future therapies for Alzheimer’s.
Watching Stem Cells Repair Spinal Cord in Real TimeNews
Clues to the reversal of brain and spine injury.READ MORE