Antidepressants during Pregnancy Harmful for Babies

Updated at: Jul 21, 2012
Antidepressants during Pregnancy Harmful for Babies

Use of antidepressants during pregnancy: Persistent pulmonary hypertension is one of the serious health conditions in the newborns, which can be averted by avoiding antidepressants during pregnancy.

Himanshu Sharma
LatestWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Mar 12, 2012

Antidepressants during Pregnancy Harmful for Babies

Despite several risks and side effects of antidepressants, pharmaceutical and medicine domain continues to back these. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil and Prozac are associated with suicide/violence risks in adolescents and risk of sudden death in women. Recent studies have confirmed that these drugs also pose serious threat to unborn babies.

This issue has become serious concern as countless people, including pregnant women, are switching to antidepressants. Antidepressant drug usage as well as untreated depression in pregnant women elevates health complications for babies. In this manner, they get caught in the dilemma of whether to treat illness with antidepressants or avoid it due to their risks to the fetus?

Mayo Clinic's official web site states that in order to depression state must be treated during pregnancy term. In case of untreated depression state, pregnant women may carry laid-back attitude and do not realise bad effects of smoking or alcohol. Some other websites have also underlined the potential birth defects to unborn due to the usage of antidepressants during pregnancy.

Earlier, Finnish reported evidence on SSRIs, labelling it as the cause of congenital anomalies, especially heart related complications in newborns. Prozac, also known as fluoxetine, puts forth two-fold risk for isolated ventricular sepal defects during first few months of a pregnancy term. Similarly, paroxetine (Paxil) increases the birth defects by four-folds.

According to British Medical Journal, women on SSRIs during pregnancy might pass on persistent pulmonary hypertension to the newborns, wherein blood pressure becomes high in the lungs. The condition of pulmonary hypertension leads to respiratory complications. There have been several such researches and studies in this field pointing at the ill-effects of pulmonary persistent hypertension in babies.

In a nutshell, depression during pregnancy should be treated with mild physical exercise, sound nutrition, yoga and a host of other ideas rather than antidepressant drugs.




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