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Citalopram and Pregnancy - Advice Needed

(12 Posts)
Runningal82 Fri 05-Oct-12 12:23:40

Hi all,
I'm new to this forum and although I know this subject has been discussed previously on here I couldn't find any open discussions on it!

I have been on Citalopram 30mgs for a couple of years now and I'm currently stable and no bouts of depression or anxiety. My partner and I are thinking of starting a family in the next 6 months but I'm worried about how the citalopram might impact on the pregnancy. I know the manufacturers say that "if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks the the child then it should not be discontinued". But i'm wondering if there's anyone out there who's had different advice, had a baby on Citalopram (and what the impact to the baby was) or if you've decided to change to a non SSRI as you're pregnant??

I know a lot of people change from Citalopram to Prozac but i'm anxoius that i'll have a relapse if I change as the Citalopram has done a great job with my mood and keeping me stable. I tried to reduce to 20mg earlier this year and didn't cope so had to increase to 30 again.

I don't want to take any risks or get pregnant on the citalopram without fully knowing what the risks might be!

Can anyone help or give me their experiences??
Thank you xxx

clickingtock Fri 05-Oct-12 12:33:13

Try posting this in here too: conception and sorry but don't have an answer but hope someone else might.

Tattoopixie Fri 05-Oct-12 12:36:11

Hey i'm not sure if this will help or not but I am taking 300mg of Venlafaxine (an SSNRI) and I am 22 weeks pregnant. I have been on this medication for over a year and stopping it would be disastrous for me and I expect the baby. My advice to you would be to think about what you need to stay healthy and stable , so if this is Citalopram then stick with it. Pregnancy creates alot of hormones which affect mood etc so it's best to be on a medication that you know works for you, I know I wouldn't of coped if i'd changed to something different. Talk with your GP, explain how you feel and discuss your concerns so you can make an informed choice. There are alot of scare-mongering stories on the internet so I would stick with talking to experts and people on here about the real (and alot less scary) facts about going through a pregnancy on anti-depressants.

Sorry for the waffle but I hope it helps smile

jumblequeen Fri 05-Oct-12 12:50:11

Hi there,

I've been prescribed both Prozac and Citalopram and neither one is safe to use during pregnancy (or breastfeeding). I'm actually embarking on my second pregnancy now and had this confirmed at the doctors the other day.
However. Speaking as someone who has taken anti-depressants all of her adult life, coming off the medication just wasn't an option for me. Luckily, there are alternative medicines that have the same effect, which are perfectly safe. I'm currently taking 50mg of Sertraline (also an SSRI) and notice no difference to Prozac or Citalopram. My best advice would be to consult your GP and perhaps mention Sertraline to him/her - mine had to consult someone else before prescribing it, so perhaps not all doctors are familiar.

Hope this helps.

Ellypoo Fri 05-Oct-12 13:22:25

Hi I've been taking citalopram for about 4 months now, and before dr prescribed them, I made her aware that I was TTC and that it was safe in pg - she said that there were risks to the baby in the final trimester because it can affect respiratory development. The intention was to come off the citalopram before the final trimester.

I am now almost 9 weeks pg, and saw a different dr to get the referral to MW, and she mentioned trying to start to get me off the citalopram sooner, but I am waiting until my next appt with my regular doc. I'm not overly worried tbh, becuase the dr wouldn't have prescribed them if there was any danger to the baby, and with the benefits in terms of evening out my moods etc, especially now I'm pg again. However, I do have the intention of coming off it asap.

If other people are saying that it isn't safe to take citalopram while pg, I need to speak to my doc asap.

jumblequeen Fri 05-Oct-12 13:26:33

Hey Ellypoo - I should have said - this has only been my experience, and I'm just relating what the doctors have told me during each of my pregnancies. As with anything, I guess you have to weigh up the pros and cons (as I said, coming off ADs wasn't ever an option for me) but I do recommend pushing your doctor to at least consult someone else. Mine spoke to someone higher up the chain at my local hospital. Good luck.

BionicEmu Fri 05-Oct-12 13:26:49

I see a peri-natal psychiatrist for mental health issues, and her anti-depressant of choice during pregnancy is now sertraline. She told me the only negative effect is that baby may possibly come up to 2 weeks early, but that's it. Prozac used to be the drug of choice, but not any more (I can't remember why though).

Unfortunately I do not get on with SSRIs, so am sticking with amitryptyline, only prob is baby can suffer withdrawal. I tried stopping it when I became pregnant, but I became v unwell v quickly, so went back on it again.

If you need meds, you need meds. Pregnancy is hard enough without trying to deal with mental health issues too!

Paradisefound Fri 05-Oct-12 13:39:30

I am continuing to take sertraline 50 mg, can't risk relapse.

cupcake78 Fri 05-Oct-12 18:31:55

I am ttc and have been moved from fluoxetine to sertraline as its seen as the safest option. Don't know about citalopram but I know the general advice is sertraline is the one to get pregnant on and breast feed on.

Tattoopixie Fri 05-Oct-12 18:56:00

BionicEmu, i'm so glad i'm not the only one deciding to stick with a more 'risky' medication. With Venlafaxine and the high dose i'm taking my baby may also suffer withdrawal but I know that if she does she will be well looked after. I agree, if you need meds you need meds smile

glossyflower Fri 05-Oct-12 19:14:58

I am 11 weeks pregnant and take 40mg of citalopram. I discussed this with both the GP and psychiatrist as I was very concerned about taking it.
I was told ultimately its my choice to continue, however before I became pregnant I was advised I need to stay on it long term to reduce chances of depressive relapse. The main concern with citalopram and the baby is that although there are not many studies on it (this would not be ethical to do, controlled trials of pregnant women taking a product that they do not fully know the effects of) is a slightly higher chance of baby being born with congenital heart defects.
Another issue is later on in pregnancy baby becoming dependent and when born will suffer withdrawal symptoms.
I continued to take half dose 20mg but due to hyperemesis have not really been taking that. So far no relapse although I'm very upset at being so ill.
Only you can make the decision with the advice of medical professionals, you need to weigh up the balance. If you come off it and have a relapse, can you prepare for that or can you accept there is a small but higher than normal risk to baby?

cookiewuk Tue 09-Oct-12 16:04:45

I had been taking citalopram for about 5 years, since my ds was born, but when i became really ill again at the beginning of the year the Dr recommended Sertraline as the new drug of choice. She said this was due to being able to use much higher doses without side effects. I then ran out of them in July and didnt have time to see doc so started taking my left over citalopram. When i discovered i was pregnant last month I told the doctor what I had done and she said not to worry but she would much prefer for me to be taking sertraline for the rest of the pregnancy. I now take 50mg every other day and am managing really well with it, apart from the odd bout of tears as Im sick and tired of being sick and tired! Hope this is helpful for you x

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