Association of citalopram with congenital anomalies: A meta-analysis

Hyun Hye Kang, Ki Hoon Ahn, Soon Cheol Hong, Bo Yong Kwon, Eun Hee Lee, Ji Sung Lee, Min Jeong Oh, Hai Joong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The antenatal use of citalopram, a widely prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, has been suspected to be associated with congenital, particularly cardiac, anomalies. This study aimed to prove the association between citalopram use and congenital anomalies. Methods We searched the English literature from July 1998 to July 2015, by using the search terms 'citalopram', 'pregnancy', 'birth defects', 'congenital anomalies', and 'malformations' in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library. Results Eight eligible articles were analyzed including a total of 1,507,896 participants. The odds ratio (OR) of major malformations associated with citalopram use during pregnancy was 1.07 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98 to 1.17). Concerning cardiac malformations, the OR for all included studies was 1.31 (95% CI, 0.88 to 1.93). The analysis of cardiac malformations was repeated to reduce heterogeneity after excluding one outlier study (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.26). Conclusion From our data, it can be concluded that citalopram use is not associated with major birth defects. However, physicians should carefully weigh the benefits against the potential risks of citalopram use, and counsel patients accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


  • Citalopram
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Heart defects
  • Meta-analysis
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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