Most types of depression are treated with antidepressant medications, usually known as antidepressants. Pregnancy has been said to protect women from depression, but recent studies didn’t confirm these claims. However, it also doesn’t mean that pregnant women experience some worsening of their depression over the nine months of pregnancy. It is simply recognized that pregnancy and probably the hormones during that time provoke different emotional status, causing difficulties in women already diagnosed with depression.
Depression Treatment in Pregnant Women
If you are expecting, you should know that some antidepressants have been known to carry certain health risks for your unborn child and some are considered safe to be used. Cessation of the depression treatment might aggravate your condition and because of that it’s important to be informed about your medications and its impact to your baby.
Depression in pregnant women is the condition that should be treated, all doctors agree in that note. You have to be able to take care of both yourself and your baby and eat proper food, which turn out to be something depressive people can’t do. Quitting your antidepressants might also provoke alcohol or cigarette addiction, which is also very bad for the health of your child. Avoiding the treatment for your depression, you may end up giving premature birth, low birth weight and development difficulties in the baby. Also, you could be exposed to a higher risk of postpartum depression, without the proper therapy during the pregnancy.
Medication Considered Safe in Pregnancy
Citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), amytryptiline, nortryptiline (Pamelor), bupropion (Wellbutrin) and fluoxetine (Prozac or Sarafem) have been recommended by most doctors to be used during the pregnancy. These medications had some reported side effects to the unborn children, but these were rare or unconfirmed effects.
Bupropion hasn’t been associated with any risks for the baby, while amytryptiline and nortryptiline may also be valued as safe, since there are no recent studies confirming any adverse effects on the unborn child.
Citalopram may rarely cause persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborn children, and different birth and heart defects. Fluoxetine and sertraline can also cause harm to baby’s lungs or a heart. However, since these are very rare occasions, these drugs cause extremely low risks for the baby.
What Drugs to Avoid
Paroxetine (Paxil), phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) are not considered to be safe for pregnant women. Avoid these medications if you are pregnant. Paroxetine can provoke heart defects in unborn children in first trimester of pregnancy and also provoke different medical problems, such as: anencephaly, omphalocele and craniosynostosis. Phenelzine and tranylcypromine have been associated with the serious raise in blood pressure that might lead to stroke.