Saturday, October 16, 2021

Antidepressants during pregnancy .. risks and benefits

Antidepressants are a primary treatment for early depression, but there are risks that should be taken into account when taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

What is the importance of treatment for depression during pregnancy?
If a pregnant woman has depression that has not been treated, she may not receive optimal care in the antenatal stage, as severe depression during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of premature labor, low birth weight, low fetal growth, or other problems for the child, and unstable depression during pregnancy increases also, from The risk of developing postpartum depression and having difficulty forming a bond with the baby.

Antidepressants for pregnant women
Pregnant women with depression can take antidepressants, but the decision to use them should be based on a balance between risks and benefits, in addition to counseling. The source of greatest concern is usually the exposure of the fetus to birth defects or defects due to antidepressants.

The risk of birth defects and other problems in general for babies of mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy is very low, but some antidepressants are associated with an increased risk of complications for the child.

In the event that a pregnant woman uses antidepressants during pregnancy, the health care provider will try to limit the child’s exposure to them, and this may be done by prescribing a single drug (monotherapy) at the lowest effective dose, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Safe antidepressants
Certain types of SSRIs. SSRIs are generally considered options during pregnancy, including citalopram and sertraline.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, including duloxetine and venlafaxine.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin), and although bupropion is generally not a first-line treatment option for depression during pregnancy, it may be an option for women who have not responded to other medications.
Are there risks to the child?
If a pregnant woman takes antidepressants during the last three months of pregnancy, her baby may develop temporary signs and indicators such as extreme fear, ease of excitement, malnutrition, and shortness of breath for up to a month after birth.

The relationship between antidepressant use during pregnancy and the risk of autism in newborns is still unclear, but most studies have shown that the risk is very small, while other studies have shown no risk at all, and more research is still needed.

Sources: (Mayo Clinic) – (Al Sharq Newspaper).

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