When a new study about drugs and pregnancy comes out, it gets a lot of media coverage. Such an event occurred this week, when a brand new study about SSRI use in pregnancy released its results. So, take a look at the following headlines. Which headline tells us the conclusion the latest study’s actually came to? Is it…
A) Study describes pros, cons of antidepressant use in pregnancy
D) Study weighs antidepressant use during pregnancy
That’s right, none of them. Not a one.
C & F get kind of close.
Do you want to know what they found? Women who suffer from depression are more likely than women who are not depressed to have babies with smaller heads, among other issues (low fetal growth and low birthweight included among those issues). Women who take SSRIs during their pregnancies are more likely to have babies with smaller heads than women who take no prescription medication during pregnancy. And here’s my favorite pare: we have no idea whether or not fetal head size matters. So, what did we learn? There may or may not be a correlation between depression/SSRIs and smaller fetal head size. That’s it. There’s nothing else. Does it matter at all? We do. Not. Know.
Go to H E Double Hockey Sticks, you manipulative jerks who write headlines.
UPDATE: Fox news chimed in with this beauty– “Mixed picture for mom, baby with antidepressants” Does that even mean anything?