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Pregnant women on antidepressants must balance potential fetal harm with the relapse risk. While various clinical and sociodemographic factors are known to influence treatment decisions, the impact of genetic factors remains unexplored. We conducted a cohort study among 2,316 women with diagnosed affective disorders who had redeemed antidepressant prescriptions six months before pregnancy, identified from the Danish Integrated Psychiatric Research study. We calculated polygenic risk scores (PGSs) for major depression (MDD), bipolar disorder (BD), and schizophrenia (SCZ) using individual-level genetic data and summary statistics from genome-wide association studies. We retrieved data on sociodemographic and clinical features from national registers. Applying group-based trajectory modeling, we identified four treatment trajectories across pregnancy and postpartum: Continuers (38.2 %), early discontinuers (22.7 %), late discontinuers (23.8 %), and interrupters (15.3 %). All three PGSs were not associated with treatment trajectories; for instance, the relative risk ratio for continuers versus early discontinuers was 0.93 (95 % CI: 0.81-1.06), 0.98 (0.84-1.13), 1.09 (0.95-1.27) for per 1-SD increase in PGS for MDD, BD, and SCZ, respectively. Sociodemographic factors were generally not associated with treatment trajectories, except for the association between primiparity and continuing antidepressant use. Women who received ≥2 classes or a higher dose of antidepressants had a higher probability of being late discontinuers, interrupters, and continuers. The likelihood of continuing antidepressants or restarting antidepressants postpartum increased with the previous antidepressant treatment duration. Our findings indicate that continued antidepressant use during pregnancy is influenced by the severity of the disease rather than genetic predisposition as measured by PGSs.

Original publication




Journal article


European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Publication Date





20 - 27


NCRR-The National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Denmark; CIRRAU-Centre for Integrated Register-base Research, Aarhus University, Denmark; iPSYCH-Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research, Denmark. Electronic address: