Background: Evidence for the association between prenatal antidepressant use and the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy is inconsistent. Previous studies have reported that antidepressant use during pregnancy increases the risk for gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, but the results of these studies are potentially confounded by important methodologic limitations. Furthermore, it remains unknown whether a higher cumulative dose of antidepressant increases the risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between prenatal antidepressant use and the risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and the potential effect of a higher cumulative antidepressant dose. Study Design: This retrospective cohort study used data from the Health and Welfare Database in Taiwan. Pregnant women with depression aged 18 to 49 years were enrolled as part of the study population. Prenatal antidepressant use was defined as at least 1 dispensing record of an antidepressant between the conception date and 20 weeks of gestation. Antidepressant users were further divided into groups according to the cumulative defined daily dose based on whether they took the defined daily dose for ≤10 weeks (low cumulative dose group ≤70 cumulative defined daily dose) or for >10 weeks (high cumulative dose group >70 cumulative defined daily dose). The primary outcome was hypertensive disorders of pregnancy defined as the diagnosis of either gestational hypertension or preeclampsia during the period from 20 weeks of gestation to delivery. Propensity score matching and stabilized inverse probability of treatment weighting were used to balance the confounders between the comparison groups. A robust Cox regression model was used to evaluate the association between exposure and outcome. Results: A total of 5664 pregnant women with depression were included in the study (2832 antidepressant users matched to 2832 antidepressant nonusers). Prenatal antidepressant use was not associated with an increased risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.67–1.18). However, among antidepressant users, the risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy was higher among women with a higher cumulative defined daily dose than among women with a lower cumulative defined daily dose (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–5.74). Conclusion: No association was found between antidepressant use and the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. However, women taking higher cumulative doses of antidepressants were at greater risk. More frequent or regular monitoring of blood pressure may be warranted in women on high cumulative doses of antidepressants.
- gestational hypertension
- National Health Insurance Research Database
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology