Most pregnant women want to do everything right for their baby, including eating right, exercising regularly and getting good prenatal care. But if you’re one of the many women who have a mood disorder, you might also be trying to manage your psychiatric symptoms as you prepare to welcome your new baby. It’s common for doctors to tell women with mood disorders to stop taking drugs like antidepressants during pregnancy, leaving many moms-to-be conflicted about giving up the medications that help keep them healthy. D., assistant director of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Mood Disorders Center, talks about why stopping your medication may not be the right approach. She explains how women can — and should — balance their mental health needs with a healthy pregnancy. Women who take antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during pregnancy may worry about whether the medications can cause birth defects. Osborne says that there is generally no need to taper off medications during pregnancy. “We can say with strong confidence that antidepressants don’t cause birth defects,” says Osborne. She adds that most studies finding a physical effect on babies from antidepressants taken during pregnancy fail to account for the effects of the mother’s psychiatric illness. In Part 6 of our 7-part Drugs in Pregnancy series, we tackle the difficult issue of antidepressants during pregnancy. As we noted in the intro to this series, about 90% of pregnant women take at least 1 medication during pregnancy, with 70% taking at least 1 prescription drug, according to the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. That said, it’s safe to say most pregnant women don’t want to do anything to harm their unborn child, but they’re often in a bind when they have to take certain meds — and few drugs fit that description better than the antidepressants that allow them to function, says Lori Wolfe, a certified genetic counselor who advises women about the risks of medication use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. (Wolfe is also the president of of Mother To Baby, a free, national informational service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists). For more on pregnancy and drugs, see the other chapters in our series, and check out our Drug Classification of Prescriptions Medicines During Pregnancy. And always ask your doctor or other healthcare provider what course of treatment is best for you and your baby. Kelly Kautz, who has suffered from depression and anxiety since she was 13 years old, tried to go off her antidepressant before becoming pregnant.
Antidepressant use in pregnant patients which antidepressant medications are. a pregnancy category B medication by the US Food and Drug Administration. Advice and warnings for the use of Sertraline Zoloft during pregnancy. FDA Pregnancy Category C - Risk cannot be ruled out. Advice and warnings for the use of Sertraline Zoloft during pregnancy. FDA Pregnancy Category C - Risk cannot be ruled out. Skip to Content. Search