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Anti depressants and pregnancy. Help!

(15 Posts)
Fuzyfelt23 Mon 07-Mar-16 09:40:40

Ok.. Me and my partner are trying for a baby, I used to take 30mg ofCitalopram, I weened down to 10mg but am really struggling.. The doctor cant give me a straight answer about whether there is a high risk to baby if I carry on taking the meds... But I need to take it because My mental state depends on it... Any advice of anyone who has experienced similar???

Flowzer Mon 07-Mar-16 10:18:55

I am on my second pregnancy and have been on antidepressants long term due to ME/CFS. Just before my first pregnancy I tried to wean myself off them (very slowly as advised) in preparation for ttc, but it was a total disaster. My GP at the time then said it was much more important in pregnancy that the mother was in a healthy and balanced mental state than that the pregnancy was totally drug free.

He did lots of research for me into which anti-depressant was considered safest in pregnancy. Apparently fluoxetine (Prozac) was best, followed by sertraline (the one I had just weaned myself off). Citalopram wasnt mentioned at all I don't think....

I couldn't tolerate fluoxetine so was put back on sertraline 50mg per day and took it all through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and am still taking it for this pregnancy. I had a perfectly happy and healthy baby boy with no problems.

Obviously talk to your doctor, but I would say if you need to stay on medication for your mental health then you should, as you being in a state can only be bad for the baby. Perhaps your doctor could try you on fluoxetine or sertraline.

Hope that helps a bit...good luck with your pregnancy!

brookeberry Mon 07-Mar-16 10:45:29

I have been on citalopram for years and having unsuccessfully tried to come off it before, I wasn't going to try stopping again. Any doctor or consultant I have spoken to said it was fine to stay on it during pregnancy. My mental health comes first and they didn't seem to have any reservations about it. Good luck! smile

Paulat2112 Mon 07-Mar-16 10:50:16

I was taking fluoxetine for about 2 years before i fell pg with dc1, doctor said no way was i to come off it. It's all about weighing up the pros and cons, is it worth having a possibly unhappy, unstable, unhealthy mum just for a drug free pregnancy?

Doctor probably can't give you a straight answer as there i guess there are probably very few trials done on pg women smile

Your doctor will be able to advise you when the time comes and if it's not suitable i am sure they will try you on something else

Thefitfatty Mon 07-Mar-16 10:55:24

I was on fluoxetine for both my pregnancies. I was taking Citlopram before DS but my doctor wanted me to switch to Prozac, as the effects during pregnancy had been more widely studied and she was more confident it was safe. (This was 4 year ago, so I'm sure more studies have been done on citlopram now).

BeardMinge Mon 07-Mar-16 14:50:37

Several friends have remained on Citalopram whilst pregnant with no apparent problems. Their children are all school age now and fine.

I did stop when I got pregnant, but only because pregnancy chilled me right out (something of a miracle after 15 years on anti-depressants!)

RochelleGoyle Mon 07-Mar-16 15:32:50

Hi Fuzy. I am currently pregnant and taking Citalopram. When I found out I was pregnant, I tried to reduce from 30mg to 20mg but found my mood wasn't stable. My doctor and I have just taken the decision that I will go back to 30mg. All the advice I've been given is that the risks to baby are low - there may be some minor withdrawal symptoms for a few days after birth (but not like heroin withdrawal or something!), however lots of children have none at all. Midwife and GP really emphasised that it's essential for me to be as healthy as possible during pregnancy, as this will probably have a greater impact than whatever side effects my medication may/may not have. I am not healthy without adequate medication; I don't like it, but it's just the way it is. If you're suffering on the lower dosage, I would consider increasing it again. You need to look after yourself so you're in the best position to care for your baby. Good luck. smile

Sophia1984 Mon 07-Mar-16 16:06:44

hi fuzyfelt I'm on 20mg of Citalopram and 18 weeks pregnant. Doctor said there was a tiny risk (and the effects are debated/not completely proven when it comes to birth defects) but better for me to be mentally healthy. There is a higher risk of post-natal depression if you come off drugs you need. Doctors are meant to weigh up the risk based on the level of depression/anxiety you have. If you feel you couldn't cope without it, then I would stay on it, but if you feel like you could reduce it or come off it before getting pregnant it would remove the tiny risk all together. Doctors can give guidance but it has to be your decision (which is really frustrating, I know!) I would also ask your Dr if you can switch to Prozac or something there has been more research on, as Citalopram is relatively new. The one drug you should avoid is Paxil (paroxetine) as there is a proven link with heart defects.

Midwives haven't even queried me being on Citalopram. Also, there is mental health care available for pregnant women, and you can access it quicker than normal waiting lists. I've got an appointment with a soecialist psychiatrist tomorrow :-) Good luck!

cocothomas1234 Mon 07-Mar-16 18:04:38

I was on prozac for the first 4 months of my pregnancy with my DD, those are the months that they say matter the most and my little girl is absolutely perfect. My sister was on citalopram throughout her entire pregnancy and breastfeeding and her little girls a gorgeous 9 year old now! No problems with either of us, I think more people than we realise go through this but are just worried about being judged. The risk is realllllllly tiny. Odds are it's much safer for your baby if her mummy is relaxed and happy smile Don't stress she'll be just fine xxxx

Callmecordelia Mon 07-Mar-16 18:10:55

I was on citalopram throughout my first and second trimesters with DD. My doctor specifically prescribed it as she felt it was safe in pregnancy and the best 'fit' for me. DD is five, with no problems.

FifiRebel Mon 07-Mar-16 18:57:15


I was on citalopram before pregnancy (I didn't come off it to conceive). I now really regret coming off it as my mood has been horrific during pregnancy. I don't want to risk going back onto it during pregnancy but really wish I had stayed on in the first place! I'll be discussing with a consultant getting a prescription for citalopram immediately after birth.

Sophia1984 Mon 07-Mar-16 21:35:31

Sorry to hear you're suffering Fifi. Have you been referred to the perinatal mental health team?

FifiRebel Tue 08-Mar-16 20:54:19

Hi Sophia thanks for your message. Yes I have, they have been a great help (once I finally got an appointment!)

Marquand Wed 09-Mar-16 09:23:18

I'm pregnant with #3, and on 150mg of Venlafaxine and 50mg of Lamotrigine. This is with the help and support of my psychiatrist. I've been on meds with both previous babies (now 6 and 3), and they were healthy, happy kids, weighing 3.7kg / 3.8kg at birth.

Like everyone else said, the overall risk to mother and child is higher when the mother is depressed. Also, as my doctor explained to me, there will probably never be antidepressant medication that is specifically approved to be taken during pregnancy, due to ethical issues in the approval process.

jazzybelle12 Wed 09-Mar-16 16:52:55

I was on 20mg of ciyalopram before pregnancy. I took it all the way through Dr and midwifes were positive that I shouldn't come off it and my son's now a healthy 4 year old with no birth defects or health problems smile x

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