Written by Pradeep
Getting pregnant when undergoing some treatment related medication can make you anxious and confused about continuing the medication. You may have heard that some medicines are totally unsafe during pregnancy. But stopping the medicines that you are having for a cause is also not a good idea. No wonder you are confused.
Here we discuss some pros and cons of taking antidepressants during pregnancy. You will understand the significance of this topic when you are able to understand a simple statistic- 1 out 3 women have taken antidepressants at some point in their life. 70% of the long time anti-depressants users(using for more than two years) are females.
Antidepressants are psychiatric medications given to treat clinical depression. This medicine is also to treat long-term pain like CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). It is also used in treating mental health conditions such as serious phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder etc.
Most of the ladies are using this medicines for depression rather than for other health conditions. Choosing to proceed or quit using antidepressants amid pregnancy is one of the hardest choices a woman must make. Untreated depressions can not only adversely affect both the mother and the child but it can also have unfavorable effects on the welfare of her family especially her other kids. Still, taking antidepressants while pregnant can be unsafe for the infant inside the womb.
Yes. Pregnancy and depression can affect each other. One important fact is that the depression among women is very common during their reproductive years (the years they bear eggs and can have a child). 10%-20% of the pregnant women are found to develop depression.
Pregnancy can trigger a variety of mood swings even to a person without a history of depression. So, just think about the effect of pregnancy hormones on a person already undergoing depression. Definitely,the pregnancy can make it more difficult to manage the depression as the pregnancy stress can contribute to the returning or worsening of the depression symptoms.
The relapse rates of depression associated with discontinuing medication are high and pose a rapid outset.
Yes. Treatment for depression is very much crucial during pregnancy. If not, the expecting woman with depression:
Moreover, untreated depression during the pregnancy highly elevates the risk of having postpartum depression.
A choice to use antidepressants amid pregnancy depends on the balance between the pros and cons. In general, the risk of birth defects and other different issues affecting the infants whose mom take antidepressants amid pregnancy is low. But keep in mind that all the antidepressant medicines are not safe to take during the pregnancy and have definitely some harmful effect on the unborn child.
You can stop the medicines for anti-depressants if your level of depression was mild and also you were symptom-free for the past six months. But you should be under the supervision of your doctor during this period as the possibility of rapid onset of the symptoms can’t be ignored.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are most commonly used anti-depressants.They are able to ease the symptoms of moderate to severe depression.
They can pass through the placenta. Hence,birth defects and other issues are possible. But the risk is relatively low.
Possible risks of using SSRIs during pregnancy include:
However, if the risk generates by the mental health condition is more significant than the potential risk of treatment, SSRIs are recommended by the doctor. The doctor usually prescribes fluoxetine, sertraline or citalopram (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa respectively) as they are relatively safe during pregnancy.
There are some factors that you need to understand about taking anti-depressants during pregnancy.
But if you have a serious psychological problems like bipolar disorder or previous history of recurring attack of depression then it is better for you to stick on the medications.
Some facts that can pacify you:
Even if the anti-depressant used by you are not listed under the ‘safe group’, even the controversial medicines are found to have a relatively low risk as explained above. Above all changing the medicines suddenly during pregnancy can give rise to more issues.
Thus,untreated depression poses more risk to the mother and the child. However, the after effects should be considered before even thinking to stop the depression treatment or before hanging back to begin the treatment of depression during pregnancy. Trust yourself and your doctor’s decision and stop bothering about the consequences. After all, your baby needs a healthy mother to look after him.