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Pregnancy outcomes following maternal venlafaxine use: A prospective observational comparative cohort study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jessica Richardson, Dr Txuss Martin, Dr Amanda Greenall, Dr Sally Stephens, Dr Laura YatesORCiD, Professor Simon ThomasORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Background: Venlafaxine is a serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor used to treat major depressive episodes and anxiety disorders. The primary aim of this study was to investigate spontaneous abortion risks following gestational exposure. Methods: This prospective observational comparative cohort study utilised data collected by the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS) between 1995 and 2018. The study sample included 281 venlafaxine exposed pregnancies matched to antidepressant unexposed (n=1,405) and SSRI exposed (n=843) comparator groups. Results: After correction for variation in competing outcome rates and the stage of pregnancy at reporting, no statistically significant differences in the hazard of spontaneous abortion was observed following gestational venlafaxine use compared with either antidepressant unexposed (HR 1.28, 95%CI; 0.850 to 1.94) or SSRI exposed (HR 1.03, 95%CI; 0.681 to 1.57) pregnancies. Conclusions: No conclusive evidence is provided from this study that venlafaxine increases the risk of adverse pregnancy or fetal outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richardson JL, Martin F, Dunstan H, Greenall A, Stephens S, Yates LM, Thomas SHL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Reproductive Toxicology

Year: 2019

Volume: 84

Pages: 108-113

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 11/01/2019

Acceptance date: 09/01/2019

Date deposited: 10/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0890-6238

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1708

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2019.01.003


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