Post # 1
I’ve read a lot of things online that say taking anti-depressants can be bad if you’re TTC or pregnant, but I’ve also read things that say that they’re fine to take right through to birth. There’s also some argument as to which are the best to take of the SSRIs, so I wondered if anyone here had any practical advice or first hand knowledge of being on anti-depressants while TTC or pregnant.
I’ve been taking SSRIs for years (currently 40mg citalopram daily), and didn’t intend to come off them any time soon. I’m not sure how I’d cope without them, but our fertility appointments are pointing more and more to IVF/ICSI very soon, and as this might be our only chance for a child, I want to do it right.
I have an appointment with my GP next week to discuss this, but as he’s never been in my position himself, I’d like to hear from people who have been in my shoes and either taken SSRIs throughout or gave them up, and their reasons why.
Post # 2
I was on a high dose of Pristiq for 5 years, and I stopped it about a year ago to TTC. Pristiq is one that is not considered to be safe during pregnancy. DH and I decided that I should try weaning off (under doctor supervision) and see how things went without it. Not gonna lie, quitting the medicine was awful. I had to take other meds short-term to help with the transition. But I have been med-free since then, and I am doing well. My doctor has warned me that I may be more prone to post-partum depression or even depression during pregnancy than other women. She said, “happy mommy, happy baby,” and that we can find a safe drug if needed. We are still TTC, but I feel that I am ready for when we do get pregnant. I know that probably isn’t much help, but I just wanted to share that taking a break from the medicine has turned out to be a positive thing for me 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 3
I was on a low dose of Prozac through my entire pregnancy and everything was fine. My son was born with one extremely minor “birth defect” that has been associated with SSRIs, but it’s also associated with some other maternal characteristics that I have, so it would be hard to say whether the SSRI caused it. Even knowing that, I’d still stay on Prozac for another pregnancy. I had a rough pregnancy and postpartum period and I really think being on Prozac kept me from developing real postpartum depression.
Post # 4
Blushpool: I am on anti-depressants, and have been ok with the idea of being on them for life. Clinical depression runs in my family, and when I’m off them, I fall into such a pit of darkness, it’s scary. Going off those meds, and risking the darkness, does not seem worth it for the “maybe”. It’s not like thalidomide of the 1950s.
Seriously, a happy, healthy mom is worth more to a baby than a mother who has trouble getting up each day to care for her baby because she’s so depressed.
And for any who say you can go back on the meds after the baby comes… it’s not that easy. It takes months for anti-depressants to start working in your system. That’s several months that matter dearly to you and your baby.
Post # 5
So… talk to your doc, and research types of antidepressants (mine is a non-SSRI). I would look into Bupropion/Wellbutrin.
Post # 6
The Reproductive Psychiatry speciality at Massachusetts General Hospital (a Harvard teaching hospital) runs this website with the most up to date research on specific medications and pregnancy. I found it very helpful.
Your GP is a good place to start, but if you can talk to a psychiatrist, ideally one with some expertise in perinatal psychiatry, that would be ideal.
I had gone off Lexapro while TTC and in the first trimester. After meeting with one of the specialists at MGH, I decided to go back on a low dose (5mg) when was around 5 months. I’m very glad I did. Baby isn’t born yet, but the risks associated with a low dose of Lexapro are quite low, especially after the first trimester.
Another friend stayed on a combo of Prozac and Welbutrin for her whole pregnancy. Her 1yo is totally normal and healthy. But these are just anecdotes, of course; the research, incomplete as it is, is a better guide.
The other thing to remember is that every drug is different; what’s true for Lexapro might not be true for your med.
Post # 7
I currently take lexapro and am going to start TTC again (DH and I took a few months off when I started a new job and was going through a lot of unrelated stress). I take lexapro for general anxiety/panic disorder. I have tried to come off lexapro several times and my anxiety comes back full force even after the withdrawal period ends. I have been dealing with anxiety disorder since childhood and being on lexapro makes me feel like a normal person and I can go years without having anxiety while on it. I plan on taking it while pregnant and am meeting with a new psychiatrist to discuss getting pregnant and being on an SSRI. I have read many things that say that being on antidepressants is a lot less risky than going through a pregnancy anxious and miserable…being anxious and depressed can cause distress to the baby. I know if I’m feeling anxious I won’t be the best mom I can be. I know there are plenty of women who stay on them while pregnant and I know I am going to be one of those women.
Post # 8
I am 37 weeks pregnant and was on citalopram until about a month ago. The research I found was that it is very unlikely to cause birth defects but can have some effect on baby if taken through birth because they are dependent on the drug when theu are born. Even those side effects are short lived, but I didn’t want to risk it.
I haven’t had my daughter yet but will be happy to update you soon 🙂 it was a hare choice but I discussed with my doctor and decided it was the right choice.
Post # 9
I was on a low dose (25mg I believe) of elavil while pregnant and I had a perfectly normal pregnancy and birth and currently a very happy healthy and smart 1 1/2 year old 🙂
Post # 10
As a NICU nurse, I have mainly seen babies withdraw from Zoloft.
Post # 11
LekiliRN: how do you know when a baby is withdrawing from an antidepressant? Is it dangerous for the baby? I plan on discussing these things further with my doctor and I’m not pregnant yet but now I’m becoming concerned over the withdrawal effects on the baby if I continue on antidepressants (I take lexapro though, not Zoloft)
Post # 12
There are risks to medication. There are risks to the baby if you are depressed/anxious throughout your prenancy and unmedicated. The link mightywombat: posted is a great resource. Just don’t go into this thinking that all medication is bad and unmedicated but depressed/anxious is better. Each has their risks and only you and your docs can decide what the best decision is.