A new study performed in Quebec found a strong link between antidepressant usage and gestational diabetes, one of the risk factors for shoulder dystocia in babies. Sky Statement has the story.
The researchers looked at every birth in Quebec between 1998 and 2015. The study found that mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy had a 19% greater likelihood of gestational diabetes. This was an observational study.
One of the side effects of gestational diabetes is increased birth weight. If a baby gets too large, their shoulder or limbs could get trapped during labor. The pressure from birth or the impact of a doctor’s intervention can cause conditions like shoulder dystocia.
Two drugs in particular caused a spike in gestational diabetes. Elavil caused a 52% increase in risk. Efexor XL caused a 27% increased risk. However, common SSRIs like Prozac did not cause a risk. Furthermore, the researchers stated that severely depressed pregnant women on these drugs should continue taking them because of the dangers of stopping.
The speculated reason for why these drugs cause weight gain is that they control serotonin. Serotonin is involved in the processing of sugar in the body. An absence of serotonin can affect insulin levels and cause diabetes.
While most cases of gestational diabetes clear up soon after birth, during pregnancy women should eat a healthy diet and stay active to counter the effects. Fetal weight should also be monitored so doctors can be ready if a baby grows too large.