Introduction: Antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is speedily increasing in developed
countries and this phenomenon has occurred without firm evidence on safety and/or efficacy.
Aims: The present study investigated from mid-trimester of pregnancy up to 24 hours after birth
the pattern of a brain damage marker, namely S100B, in maternal fetal and neonatal biological
fluids of pregnant women and their newborns antenatally treated by antidepressant drugs such
as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI).
Methods: we conducted an observational study on 75 pregnant women treated in the mid –third
trimester by antidepressant drugs and 231 healthy pregnancies. S100B concentrations were
measured at 7 predetermined monitoring time-points before, during and after treatment in maternal, fetal and neonatal
biological fluids and correlated with neurological follow-up at 7 days from birth.
Results: In SSRI group S100B concentrations were significantly higher in SSRI than controls (P<0.001, for all) in
maternal blood, in amniotic fluid, in arterial and venous cord blood and at 24-h from birth. Highest (P<0.05) S100B levels
were found in SSRI infants showing major neurological symptoms at 7-d follow-up.
Conclusion: The present data on increased S100B levels in maternal, fetal and neonatal biological fluids suggest that
SSRI administration although beneficial to the mother, presents some risks for the infant.