ANTIDEPRESSSANT USE COMMON AMONG REPRODUCTIVE-AGED WOMEN CDC and MARCH OF DIMES RAISE AWARENESS OF NEED FOR SAFE MEDICATION USE IN PREGNANCY

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CDC and MARCH OF DIMES RAISE AWARENESS

OF NEED FOR SAFE MEDICATION USE IN PREGNANCY

Many reproductive-aged women take antidepressant medication. Some of these medications can pose a small but real risk of birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Previous research has shown that some birth defects are two or three times more common among babies born to women who took certain types of antidepressants early in pregnancy. Since half of all pregnancies are unplanned, women may be prescribed antidepressants before they or their health care providers know they are even pregnant.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the March of Dimes are teaming up to raise awareness about the risk of birth defects from certain antidepressants. CDC’s Treating for Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy initiative focuses on providing women and their healthcare providers with reliable and accessible information on medications commonly used during pregnancy. This initiative aims to expand and accelerate research and to deliver up-to-date information to women and healthcare providers so that they have enough information to make informed treatment decisions and can take the safest medications to manage their conditions.

Depression and anxiety can be serious conditions, and it is very important that all women of reproductive age consult their physicians before starting or stopping any medication if they are planning a pregnancy, or think they may be pregnant.

For more information about Treating for Two: Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy visit www.cdc.gov/treatingfortwo. To learn more about how you can help prevent premature birth and birth defects visit March for Babies at marchforbabies.org.

INTERVIEW WITH:

· (7-9 am ET) Dr. Siobhan (shiv-ON) Dolan, a Harvard trained, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and clinical geneticist, serves as medical advisor to the March of Dimes, the leading non-profit for mom and baby health. Recently, Dr. Dolan co-authored, Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide. Dr. Dolan is a professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. The mother of three teenagers, she lives with her family in Westchester County, NY.

· (9-11 am ET) Coleen A. Boyle, PhD, MSHyg, is the director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Boyle received her M.S.Hyg.) in biostatistics and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral training in epidemiologic methods at Yale University. Before joining CDC in 1984, Dr. Boyle served as a faculty member in epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts..