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Pregnant District of Columbia women must know antidepressant risk

Giving birth to a premature baby is a fear that almost every woman thinks about at least once during her pregnancy. For some women, this fear is increased because of other medical conditions. Women who suffer from depression and take antidepressant medications while they are pregnant might have cause for alarm, according to a new report published in PLOS One.

The report was comprised of research gathered from 41 studies. An assistant professor at Tufts University who was an author for the report noted that just because the report does link antidepressants to premature birth, it doesn't necessarily mean that women should automatically stop taking the drugs when they find out they are pregnant. He says that weighing the risks and benefits in each case is vital, as is providing pregnant women with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision.

One of the most important points of the study had to do with the risk associated with antidepressant use in each trimester. Generally, antidepressant use in the first trimester didn't lead to an increased risk of premature birth. As the pregnancy progressed, however, the risks increased. By the third trimester, antidepressant use is linked to a 96-percent higher risk of premature birth.

For any pregnant woman, working closely with a medical professional is vital during pregnancy. It is important that those professionals give them the information they need to make informed choices about their care. Any woman who feels she has been the victim of medical negligence after going through a premature birth might have the right to seek compensation for the negligence. Understanding how medical negligence cases are handled in the District of Columbia is the first step.

Source: The New York Times, "Antidepressants Linked to Premature Births" Nicholas Bakalar, Apr. 07, 2014

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