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Depression… it hurts. How many times have you heard that on TV? For women like you wanting to get pregnant, depression and taking antidepressants might hurt your unborn baby.
Did your healthcare profession share that fact with you? Decisions for how to treat depression in pregnant women have become increasingly complex. Patients and their doctors must carefully weigh and discuss potential benefits and risks of treatment with antidepressants during pregnancy. Some new studies provide important information to be considered in making such decisions.
The studies included women who had been treated with antidepressant drugs that act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or, in a few cases, other antidepressants. SSRI medications are the most commonly used drugs to treat depression in the United States.
One study by the Journal of American Medical Association involved stopping the antidepressant while pregnant. This solution was not a good one because women became more depressed and were five times as likely to relapse into a worsen depression than previously.
A second study also published by the Journal of American Medical Association suggested there could be rare risks from SSRI medications during pregnancy. This study focused on newborn babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), which is a serious and life-threatening lung condition that occurs soon after birth of the newborn.
Every drug label in this SSRI/antidepressant section more or less has the same problem… a warning whether it’s the first trimester or the third trimester. When treating pregnant women with a particular SSRI antidepressant brand, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and potential benefits of treatment.
Think of all the women who take antidepressants. Think of the numerous side effects drugs have. Think of all the babies that have birth defects. What is the connection?
Has your baby suffered a birth defect after you took antidepressants during your pregnancy?