A new study conducted by American researchers has found that prescribing antidepressants to pregnant mothers puts thousands of expecting mothers and their unborn babies are at risk.
The researchers said that many GPs are not aware of the dangers posed by antidepressants and warned that they could increase the risk of miscarriages, autism, high blood pressure and premature birth.
They also added that drug companies are trying to play down the risks associated with anti-depressants as they make up a substantial portion of their income.
"I am absolutely concerned - very concerned. We are witnessing a large-scale human experiment. Never before have we chemically altered human fetal development on such a large scale. Study after study shows increased rates of newborn complications in those babies who were exposed to SSRIs in-utero. The Federal Drugs Administration [in the US] and Health Canada have put out warnings specifically regarding this issue", Tufts University's Dr Adam Urato, who worked on the study, said.
The study was presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual conference in San Diego and will be published in the journal Human Reproduction.