Are Antidepressants Safe During Pregnancy?
Report Offers Guidelines for Treating Depression in Pregnant Women
Miscarriage, Low Birth Weight, and Preterm Birth continued...
The group also recommended that:
- Women who are already pregnant should not attempt antidepressant withdrawal
if they have severe depression.
- Psychiatrically stable women who want to stay on antidepressants during
pregnancy should consult with their psychiatrist and ob-gyn about the potential
risks and benefits.
- Women with recurrent depression or those who have symptoms despite drug
treatment may benefit from psychotherapy when available.
Psychiatrist Ariela Frieder, MD, who specializes in treating pregnant women
with depression at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, tells WebMD that
her patients tend to be very concerned about how antidepressants will affect
their baby and much less aware of the dangers posed by untreated
Frieder was a practicing ob-gyn in her native Argentina before moving to New
York where she did her residency in psychiatry.
"Many women want to stop treatment abruptly and even stop on their own, but
this can be very risky," she says.
Jennifer Wu, MD, an ob-gyn who practices at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital,
"The old conventional wisdom was that pregnancy was a honeymoon period for
depression and that patients would be able to come off their medications and be
OK," she tells WebMD. "But we have learned that this is not true. It has become
more and more apparent that pregnancy is a vulnerable time for patients with a
history of depression."