Have you taken a prescribed drug to help combat depression during pregnancy?
It is fairly common for expecting mothers to experience some form of depression. Babyzone.com reports that 10 to 20% of women show signs of depression during pregnancy, with 20% of those being serious cases.
Many doctors routinely prescribe drugs called Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat depression in pregnant women.These drugs include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, and Cymbalta, among many others.
Reports stemming back to 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine have made note of the potential complications for newborns whose mothers have taken these drugs in the final trimester of their pregnancy. According to ACOG, some of the less serious complications can include, mild respiratory distress, excessively rapid respiration, weak cry, poor muscle tone, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.
One of the most concerning complications from this drug interaction is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) in newborns. This disorder severely restricts arteries, causing a lack of oxygen to the bloodstream. This lack of oxygen can cause strain to all of the newborn’s organs, including the brain.
PPHN is normally discovered within the first few hours after birth. Although it is treatable, PPHN can still cause serious and potentially deadly problems, including breathing difficulties, seizures, and developmental disorders.
If you are currently taking an SSRI during pregnancy, consult with your doctor to determine the steps necessary to keep both your baby and yourself as healthy as possible.