Study design: As part of a large screening study of perinatal depression, pregnant women were screened for demographic, depression and treatment variables in obstetrics clinics. Women taking antidepressant medication prior to conception were included in the sample as the study aimed to document rates of antidepressant medication use, and relationship to depressive symptomatology.
Results: Among women who reported using antidepressant medications within 2 years prior to screening (n = 390, or 11% of all women), 22% reported current use of these medications. Women who reported using antidepressant medications (52%) and those who discontinued them (49%) evidenced elevated depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
Conclusions: Both women who discontinue and some who continue antidepressants during pregnancy demonstrate depressive symptoms, suggesting sub-optimal management of both groups. Future studies should carefully assess the adequacy of treatments prescribed as well as the monitoring and adherence of recommended treatments. Full symptom remission should be the goal for antenatal and postnatal depression in order to minimize risk to mother and baby.