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Sertraline and pregnancy

(24 Posts)
Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 18:39:40


I’ve suffered from major depression and severe anxiety for many years now and for the last 5 of those I’ve taken Escitalopram which has completely revolutionised my life and made me into a (fairly!) normal, functioning human being again!

However, DH and I now want to start ttc and after some reading up I know that escitalopram and pregnancy aren’t really good together. I have tried coming down a little but my anxiety went through the roof, so not being medicated isn’t going to be possible. I did lots of reading and found that sertraline seemed to be the best (safest? Most well tested!) medication from a pregnancy point of view so I went to chat to my doctor today about changing over. He did swap me, but gave me the impression that I was being silly as all ADs are pretty much as bad or as risky as each other so he was doing it to keep me quiet!

Does anyone have any experience of pregnancy and being on Sertraline or any other AD? I really thought that Sertraline was considered ‘best’ but am now doubting myself!! Thanks so much.

sirlee66 Tue 13-Mar-18 19:08:38

Sorry, OP, I have no experience in this but would advise seeking a second opinion from a doctor or a midwife? You won't be the first or the last person on ADs during a pregnancy and so it's really good you are planning ahead to make sure everything is safe.

I'd recommend starting to take pregnancy vitamins (I think the advice is to start 3 months before TTC) to get all your levels up and ready for the best possible start.

All the very best of luck to you

Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 20:00:59

Thanks so much for your reply. Pregnancy vitamins are a great idea, thanks!

DaisyMay25 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:13:19

Hi @Ilovewheelychairs I'm currently not any medication although I should be, I'm in two minds about going on it. Last time I spoke to my doctor they said that sertraline is one of the best options. They'd never say they're 100% safe (they can't even say that about paracetamol). They did assure me that they are safer than others such as fluoxetine. Sorry I can't be much more help

Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 20:26:00

Thanks so much for your response. Am a bit reassured at least that your doctors recommended Sertraline as a ‘better’ option! Hope you feel better soon, whatever you decide.

DaisyMay25 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:29:07

@Ilovewheelychairs glad you're feeling a bit better about it. I know the inner argument about taking them. Hopefully you get a bfp soon thanks

Pseudousername Tue 13-Mar-18 20:32:32

At the end of the day you need to be managing your depression and anxiety.

If you don't it will affect you, your relationship, your ability to conceive, your potential pregnancy, childbirth and post natal state of mind.

Whatever you decide to do, keep on top of it, look after yourself and keep people close to you well informed.

Pregnancy, childbirth, having kids is all hard work and a massive change - look after yourself!

I was on Sertraline but only a low dose. My doc advised that if poss I should come off it, but if not then everything would likely be fine.

You need to be healthy for a healthy pregnancy.

I did come off it pre conception but I would have definitely continued if I felt I needed to, and I went back on it after I had bubs as my normal low level A&D ramped up post birth.

Best of luck whatever you decide OP.

Naughty1205 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:47:31

Hi OP, I took sertraline on ds and was on lexapro for dd, both IVF and both perfect. I spoke to psychiatrists and pharmacists in detail before both. Best of luck to you

Naughty1205 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:49:04

Just to add I got major PND after first as I tried to wean myself off lexapro during pregnancy. Obviously not the only reason I got PND of course but worth upping the dose after giving birth as it might floor you for a while!

Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 20:55:45

Thanks so much for all advice! I know I won’t cope not on something, I just want to make sure I make the best decision I can as regards to what that something is. Best decision for me at this moment anyway!

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 13-Mar-18 21:00:47

I was prescribed sertraline during my pregnancy with DS1. It was recommended by my midwife and it was fine.

I wish you all the best ttc OP. smile

BiscayTrafalgarFitzroy Tue 13-Mar-18 21:30:35

I'm 8 weeks and take 50mg or sertraline a day. I've taken it for 5 years now and will continue to take it throughout my pregnancy. GP is fine with it as their is minimal risk. More risk to the baby from having an anxious and stressed out mum!

BiscayTrafalgarFitzroy Tue 13-Mar-18 21:31:14


Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 22:04:14

Thanks so much for all your advice. In true anxious fashion I’ve been tying myself in knots over it, so it really is helping to hear from you all.

cindersrella Tue 13-Mar-18 22:13:59

I was weaned off setraline before ttc. Maybe ask pharmacy/gp for advise. Dont just stop taking any of them

Ilovewheelychairs Tue 13-Mar-18 22:31:03

Cindersella, I have seen my GP. He is more than happy to prescribe throughout any potential pregnancy as the benefit to me definitely outweighs the risk. We just disagree about whether there is a ‘better’ or ‘safer’ option as he thinks the risks of all ADs are the same. I would really like to try and breastfeed for example, and as far as my research goes (as well as a call to the National Breastfeeding line) Sertraline is the best option for this. But I may transfer to Sertraline and find that it doesn’t work for me so we’ll need to think again. i just want to be as prepared as possible and in the best place to deal with the trials of ttc and then (hopefully) being a parent.

Hongkong5 Wed 14-Mar-18 05:17:56

I am pregnant and in sertraline, my GP was fine with it and when I saw the midwife she said sertraline is what they prescribe pregnant women and it's quite common now and they had no problem with me staying on it. It is a very individual decision though and you need to do what's right for you.

ClaraLane Wed 14-Mar-18 05:41:04

I started on 100mg of sertraline at around 20 weeks pregnant when I had a breakdown on the way to work and I’m now on 200mg a year later. My DD is 8 months old and has no issues due to the sertraline and I’m still breastfeeding. When she was about 2 months old my dose was increased to 150mg and it went up to 200mg about a month ago. I feel much more balanced and like myself now my dose has been increased and I’m definitely a better mum. Sadly your GP sounds slightly old-fashioned in regards to thinking all ADs have the same risks and quite a few GPs aren’t particularly hot on what medication is best when breastfeeding. This is a brilliant website to use if breastfeeding and you can also message them on Facebook with queries about medication

I hope the sertraline works for you, good luck TTC and fingers crossed for an easy healthy pregnancy!

Ilovewheelychairs Wed 14-Mar-18 05:46:52

Thank you all so much, especially those who’ve had healthy pregnancies and babies whilst taking Sertraline. I start on it today so fingers crossed it works and not too many side effects!

BiscayTrafalgarFitzroy Wed 14-Mar-18 07:06:58

Good luck, OP. I had some start up side effects which weren't very pleasant but they soon go so stick with it if you do suffer from any. It's worth it.

FreiasBathtub Wed 14-Mar-18 07:44:48

Good luck OP! I tried to come off sertraline before ttc number two. It didn't go well and I went back on it, and am now about 9 weeks pregnant.

I live in a fantastic area for mental health care and was referred to the perinatal mental health team before even ttc so they could reassure me. Do you think this might be a possibility for you?

According to the consultant I saw, it is v much a case that, because they can't run clinical trials on pregnant women, they can't say for certain it's 100% safe, but all the evidence from other kinds of research (eg looking at outcomes for women who chose to stay on sertraline during pregnancy) suggest the effects, if any, are tiny. Because sertraline is one of the more common antidepressants, they have more of this kind of observational evidence about it than they do about other drugs.

It's a shame your GP wasn't better informed but hopefully this thread has brought some reassurance. Do ask whether there's a perinatal mental health team you can be referred to, if you are still concerned.

nailsathome Wed 14-Mar-18 07:51:24

I'm taking citalopram and none of the hcps I've seen have flagged it as a problem whereas I had other meds I've had to stop taking.

Ilovewheelychairs Wed 14-Mar-18 13:21:53

Thanks again for all your advice and support. It really has helped!

cindersrella Wed 14-Mar-18 14:53:11

I couldn't agree with you more. If you need to be on them and the gp is happy for that then I am sure all will be okay.

The only reason I was weaned off before hand was because I had been on them for four years and I had finished therapy so I asked to be taken off them.

I just assumed I think that you had to come off them too when having a baby or ttc. Good luck to you OP.


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