For years, pregnant women who suffer from depression have been told it's safer for them and their unborn child to continue taking antidepressants during pregnancy. Now a new study is challenging that advice, suggesting the opposite is true and advocating against most women taking these drugs. If the depression is severe, however, the benefits might outweigh the risks, so it's best to check with your psychiatrist or physician. Experts say about 13% of women take an antidepressant at some point during their pregnancy. Many drugs are called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Taking these medicines while pregnant, however, may raise safety concerns, according to a review of existing research published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction. Study findings "There is clear consistent evidence of risk with the use of these drugs by pregnant women and we know there is a range of pregnancy complications that are associated with the use of these drugs in pregnancy," says study author Dr. Setraline, commonly known by its brand name Zoloft, is an antidepressant medication prescribed for depression, panic disorders, social anxiety, and more. Zoloft was once prescribed to pregnant women under the assumption that there was no known health risks to infants. Medications with a classification of “C” have been shown to cause harm when tested on animals. However, recent research confirms that a host of birth injuries and defects can occur after taking several forms of antidepressant medications, including Zoloft. Yet, pregnant women were prescribed Zoloft regardless. In 1991, pharmaceutical company Pfizer introduced Zoloft, and it quickly became one of the most prescribed drugs for depression. Since testing is not performed on infants, there was no way to officially prove that the medication causes birth defects. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, however, a study performed on over 2,000 pregnant women who took Zoloft shows a link between the drug and the risk of birth defects. Although the study doesn’t clearly state that the drug will cause birth defects, it does show that the risk heightens at least 3 to 5%. Another issue that arises for pregnant women who take Zoloft is that even though it’s harmful to unborn infants, mothers who are taking the medication are at risk for health problems if they suddenly stop taking the medication.
Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of teratogenicity; however, there was evidence of delayed ossification and effects on reproduction attributed to maternal toxicity. Decreased neonatal survival following maternal administration at exposures similar to or slightly greater than the maximum recommended human dose of 200 mg was also observed; the clinical significance is unknown. The results of several studies suggest that the use of SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and/or other congenital malformations; however, this association has not been clearly established. The association appears to be strongest for another SSRI, paroxetine. Use of sertraline during pregnancy has been reported to cause symptoms compatible with withdrawal reactions in neonates whose mothers had taken sertraline. Neonates exposed to SSRIs and SNRIs late in the third trimester have uncommonly reported clinical findings including respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These effects have mostly occurred either at birth or within a few days of birth. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs, or possibly a drug discontinuation syndrome; in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome. In every pregnancy, a woman starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This sheet talks about whether exposure to sertraline may increase the risk for birth defects over that background risk. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider. Sertraline is a medication that has been used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a severe form of premenstrual syndrome), and social phobia. Sertraline belongs to the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While everyone breaks down medication at a different rate, on average sertraline has a half-life (time it takes to eliminate one half of the drug from the body) of 26 hours. Most of the drug will be out of your system 6 days after stopping sertraline. You should always discuss any changes in your dose or stopping your dose of sertraline with your health care provider. In particular, since some people have withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop taking sertraline, your health care provider may suggest that you gradually decrease the dosage that you are taking before you completely stop taking the medication.
Non-SSRI exposed, and unexposed reference category women were studied. sertraline during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with. Zoloft or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance. Pregnancy–Pregnancy Category C–Reproduction studies have been.