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Conception, depression and venlafaxine

(3 Posts)
Jacs26 Mon 14-Jan-13 15:46:08

Where do I begin? I have suffered with depression and aniexty for most of my life.

Two years ago, I became very depressed & ended up in hospital and being put on Venlaxfaxine. They literally saved my life and I slowly became well and managed to stop taking the tablets in the summer, despite the horrible withdrawal symptoms.

However, over the last month or so I have fealt my depression creeping back and I certainly don't want to let it get as bad before I take meds again, so am thinking of going back on Venlafaxine.

But my partner and I would like to try for a baby in the summer and I would like to know what effect me being on this drug would have? Has anyone conceived on this drug? Did you stay on it through out? I have read such conflicting advise on the subject, would like some real like experiences.

Am I being selfish, wanting to be a mother and while needing to take this kind of drugs. I am 38 years old so time is also not on my side.

Hoophopes Mon 14-Jan-13 16:01:40

Hi I conceived on venlaflaxine, having my psychiatrist consult with a perinatal psychiatrist. It was decided it was safer for me to stay on venlaflaxine than come off it to an unknown drug that wouldn't necessarily help me. Though there are other, safe drugs for pregnancy such as citalopram and sertraline which you could talk to your gp about. For me the worst thing would have been to end up in the mother and baby unit during or after birth, or the psychiatric hospital again (and all the risk assessment and checking up that would necessitate). So I stayed on venlaflaxine but at a lower amount.

My psychiatrist suggested I stabilised a bit before I tried to conceive, which was sensible but also time wasn't on my side, so I took the medication and all was well - have a very healthy little baby babbing away as I type.

Why not talk to your gp or psychiatrist or ask to be referred to a psychiatrist? You could, when pregnant, ask to see a mental health midwife if your area has one - and if need be could be under the peri-natal mental health team if you really struggle and need support. I am glad to say despite my fears and a few blips I managed to stay out of hospital and not needing the peri-natal mental health team.

All the best.

SeriousStuff Tue 15-Jan-13 16:11:20

Hi - I'm not on venlaflaxine, but on citalopram. Have been taking it on and off for the last couple of years. Was off it over the summer but started having quite bad panic attacks. My GP said if I wanted to go back on it, I should really be on it for at least a year and seeing we were planning on starting TTC at the beginning of this year, it was inevitable I'd probably be on it when PG.

I had quite an honest and open discussion with my DH and GP about my fears - I worry about possibly harming my baby by taking the drug (no conclusive studies that this is true) but also worried that my depression and anxiety, if not taking anything, would cause even more harm to the baby and render me unable to cope.

I have also been through the thought process around should I really be contemplating having children if I'm suffering like this. But with medication I'm completely fine and I have incredible support from my DH, family and friends. Now I'm back on the meds since Sept and we have started TTC and I feel great and look forward to the journey ahead of us.

My main concern now is whether I'd be able to breastfeed, but we will deal with that whne the time comes, and it won't be the end of the world if I can't.

Good luck!

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