Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: SSRIs and risk of postpartum hemorrhage

In Brief

SSRIs and risk of postpartum hemorrhage

Several studies have concluded that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) substantially increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. University of Toronto researchers decided to investigate whether these drugs also increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, a potentially life-threatening complication that occurs in about 4% of vaginal deliveries and 6% of cesarean section deliveries.

About 2.8% of pregnant women in a large U.S. sample, and almost 1% of pregnant women in two European samples, took antidepressants. It is not clear how many of these women were taking SSRIs.

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