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Fluoxetine in pregnancy

(18 Posts)
SomethingHasToChange Fri 05-Apr-13 11:30:53

The doctor has suggested it. I have antenatal depression and have been signed off work for 1 month now. I spend most days crying, having panic attacks. Sometimes I spend hours planning how/ when to kill myself after the baby's born, although at other times that all seems mad.

I can't see myself going back to work any time soon. The way I see it, my options are either:
1. Take antidepressants, go back to work.
2. Don't take them, start maternity leave early (at 28 wks) and concentrate on trying to cope in other ways.

I am worried about the effect that medication will have on the baby. Also, I often feel like I have done something evil by having this child (because he will end up like me and be stuck with me for a mother). On the other hand, I would like to work because I need the money. Of course, no amount of money is worth harming the baby.

Does anyone else have experience of this? Will taking the pills make things better or worse? How long will they take to start working? What are the side effects? I have always resisted taking antidepressants in the past, but took fluoxetine briefly about 15 yrs ago. It didn't help.

(The GP said I should talk to the perinatal team but they're on holiday)

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 11:58:23

what mg of fluroxetine was suggested for you? Have you also been referred for counciling?

I'm on 20mg, and have been since 30wks. They can take up to 6 weeks to fully kick in, although I've found that its about 2 weeks for me.

There can be side effects, (dr google will bring up loads of scary stuff, but you have to remember that it is unethical to do drug studies on pregnant women). At 30weeks baby will have done all his neurological developing, and is mainly putting on weight, so IMO less risks than in the 1st trimester.
but your doctor will be looking at whether the benefits to the mum outweigh these risks.

For me, being mentally stable for when baby is born overrode any previous aversions to anti-Ds.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 05-Apr-13 12:06:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomethingHasToChange Fri 05-Apr-13 12:12:16

Thanks to both of you. I have been prescribed 20mg and am also going to see 2 counsellors, but they keep saying I'm 'too depressed.' (Catch 22!)

Am trying to resist googling because it is very scary. Have either of you experienced any side effects, either to yourself or the baby? Do you think you made the right decision?

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 05-Apr-13 12:18:09

I'm 33+2 wks but am just taking Propranalol at the moment to help control my panic attacks, I've taken fluoxetine in the past though and really benefited from it, although it can take a number of weeks to start really working.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 12:34:02

I've not had this baby yet something but so far he is growing well and kicking like a trooper. (So all normal there).
I haven't had any side effects. My mw said 20mg was quite a low dose, as some women can be on 120mg which I think is when side effects would be more likely

I don't understand how you can be 'too depressed', perhaps they mean it would be better to have anti-ds as well as the counciling, which would make sence.

I think that going on them was the right decision. I've been on them before when I was younger, and despite have bouts of anxiety/depression over the years, I tend not to take them.
But knowing myself, I know what I can pull myself back from, and what I need help for. And this time is one of those that I can't do it without meds.

SomethingHasToChange Fri 05-Apr-13 12:36:26

Thanks Frustrated, that's how I feel. This is surprisingly bad.
(I think the counsellors mean I need to be on ADs as well as have the counselling, because I often can't talk to anyone.)

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Fri 05-Apr-13 12:52:11

You have to weigh up whether you can do it alone, or whether you believe that the meds will help you.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 05-Apr-13 12:59:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SomethingHasToChange Fri 05-Apr-13 13:29:20

Good news Suffolk! Thank you for saying that. It's difficult to believe things will be ok

Apanicaday Fri 05-Apr-13 20:04:05

I'm on 20mg of fluoxetine at the moment - am 22 weeks pregnant, and have been on it for 8 weeks or so. I was very wound up about taking it (I suffer from absolutely dreadful antenatal anxiety), and resisted taking it in my last two pregnancies, and struggled bitterly through both, but this time I was worse, and I just couldn't cope without it. And it's the best thing I've ever done - no regrets whatsoever. I've turned from someone who was crying all day every day, to much more like my normal self. Its not totally fixed the anxiety - but it's made it all so so much more bearable. I'll never enjoy being pregnant, but it isn't feeling like a 9 month torture anymore. The psychiatrist I've seen has said that she wants me to come off it for the last four weeks of pregnancy to minimise the risks of problems after birth to the baby (although I get the impression they are very rare, and if I find it too hard to come off them I will stay on). I have had counselling, but find it doesn't work for me without the ads at the same time.

I had mild side effects when I started on them (some nausea, headaches and my anxiety got a bit worse), but that all faded completely after 2 weeks, and I haven't looked back since. I have some lovely friends who have also taken ads in pregnancy, and found their stories really reassuring - it's surprising how many people I've talked to have suffered from either antenatal depression or anxiety.

soupmaker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:42:44

I am on 20mg every 2 days. I was on them before falling pregnant for depression/off the scale PMT. I spoke to my consultant who was very reassuring and explained that it was better for me to stay on a low dose rather than for the depression to return. I feel really well and suspect being pregnant has helped on two counts, my depression was linked to MCs and now I don't have AF. It took about 4 weeks to kick in when I started taking the tablets. Good luck.

SuffolkNWhat Fri 05-Apr-13 22:49:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gingerandcocoa Fri 05-Apr-13 23:00:41

I was on Fluoxetine for quite a while (not pregnant) and I strongly recommend it. It just takes the edge off depression and helps you be generally happier.

I just wanted to pitch it, and say that when it's time to stop please do it slowly and according to what the doctor tells you. I stopped cold turkey (I had been on it on and off so thought I'd be ok) and am dealing with anxiety / panic attacks ever since.

joanna1990marie Fri 19-Apr-13 15:06:57

I'm so glad I found this post, I was prescribed fluoxetine 20mg but didn't take them coz of the side effects and possible probs with the baby, I see a counsellor once every 2 week's but my anxiety is out of control, feel like I'm dying all the time, having heart attacks, preeclampsia hellp syndrome! It's ruining my life, my partner is very supportive but I hate burdening him withmy panic attacks, I'm only 22 so it's not likely I'll have a heart attack and I'm 34 weeks pregnant

Frecklesandspecs Fri 19-Apr-13 18:46:47

I've had two pregnancies on Fluroxetine with no problem whatsoever. Kids have no problems at all and are both very normal,healthy toddlers!
I feel the risks of suffering with depression during pregnancy are far greater than the risks of taking fluroxetine.
They helped me a great deal.
I have only just come off them (about 2 months ago) after about 3 years and have been absolutely fine.
Best of luck.

Frecklesandspecs Fri 19-Apr-13 18:48:55

Joanna, I would give them a go and save yourself what you are going through. It may only get worse after the birth with postnatal depression ect.
I never experienced any bad side effects, they do just take a couple of weeks to work properly though.

Queenofknickers Fri 19-Apr-13 19:10:39

I also have two healthy sons aged 7 and 9 and took 40 mg of fluoxetine through both pregnancies and bf. No side effects except the return of hope!!!!!!! If counsellor a cant cope cope with depression I'd look elsewhere - try a psychotherapist (look on UKCP website). It is easier to progress with therapy when ADs are working but I'm really surprised at counsellor turning you away for being depressed - 80% of their clients present with depression!!! Find someone better qualified - they WILL be able to help. Much love to you x

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