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(25 Posts)
Tans1987 Tue 24-May-16 21:26:32

Hi ladies
I am after some support please. I am 23 weeks pregnant and I am a aniexty and panic attack sufferer. I was on citalapram when I found out I was pregnant and stopped taking it as advised. I am suffering with panic attacks all over again they have prescribed me sertraline but I am really scared to take it because I am scared of the affects to my unborn baby. But the attacks are making me so low. Any ideas what to do? X

MintyBojingles Tue 24-May-16 21:53:12

It's safe to take in pregnancy, most of the dangers with taking meds are in the early stages anyway. Is it better for you to be stable when your baby arrives or better to wait to take medicines and be a bag of nerves? I'd take them if I were in the same situation. I've taken Sertraline several times in the past, just be aware that for some the first couple of days on it can make you feel worse, but the benefits soon kick in! Have you been offered counselling or perinatal support?

Hope you feel better soon flowers

LBNM19 Tue 24-May-16 21:56:54

Hi, I suffered with mental health issues with both my pregnancys.

I had severe anxiety during my second pregnancy and prescribed sertraline from around 17 weeks. I felt I had no choice but to take it as the anxiety was so bad and you have to weigh up how your mental health will effect you and baby.

I'm pregnant again (only 7 weeks) and I am worried about the same thing happening again, if I had anxiety to the extent I had it last time I would definitely take the medication.

My son is 19 months and fine by the way xx

Duckstar Tue 24-May-16 22:04:34

I developed anxiety at 26 weeks pregnant. I took mitrazipane and citalopram (as advised by a peri-natal consultant psychiatrist). Also had cbt. Best decision I made. They can't say no risk as they can't do drug trials on pregnant women, but they wouldn't prescribe if women/babies had adverse reactions. My consultants views were the risk of anxiety (not eating, sleeping etc) were far greater to my unborn child. She is now 16 weeks old. Sleeping peacefully by me. No issues.

Tans1987 Tue 24-May-16 22:58:21

Thanks for the replies ladies, I appreciate it. Me and my partner have decided it's the right thing for us to do. I've had CBT in the past but I didn't find it helped me. I feel sad that I've had to go down a medication route but I can't let this keep affecting me and my baby. X

LBNM19 Tue 24-May-16 23:32:31

I had CBT and it didn't help and was also under the psychiatrist, along with he's help and the sertraline I started to feel alot better. I hope you do to. Xx

Tans1987 Wed 25-May-16 08:34:10

Yeah they have mentioned maybe me seeing a psychiatrist too. I honestly thought being pregnant would make things a bit better as me and my partner were both ready for children. I didn't expect this to get worse. I started the medication last night. Had a pretty restless sleep just with worry I guess. Hopefully it passes. Xx

janenoble Thu 26-May-16 00:12:10

My advice, is to stop. Take a deep breath, and realize you're ok.

As a sufferer of PTSD, and someone who has been on Sertraline now for several years, i know the thought of this medication can be quite intimidating. It is however, a wonderful medication once you get passed the initial side effects of the drug getting into your system. I don't want you to be afraid so i am going to tell you about my first experiences with Sertraline, and hopefully, it will put your mind at ease because without this medication i probably wouldn't still be alive right now.

The first day i took sertraline, i remember feeling like my head was to heavy to hold up. My eyes wouldn't keep still. My eyebrows felt massive (i know, this makes me giggle to this day) and i had an overwhelming desire to go to sleep. HOWEVER, the moment you lay down (which i advice having someone around to make sure you get to bed safely now that you have a baby to think of.) your world will spin, and spin, and spin.
It's quite an unusual experience, it can be quiet unsettling and euphoric. but over the course of a week those symptoms will all but vanish.

My PTSD means i relive my trauma in my sleep, and Sertraline stopped me having dreams for over a year. which was amazing. I went to the cinema for the first time in 10 years. I felt happy, lifted, and outgoing. Like the world couldn't affect me anymore.
I felt like i finally had control of my emotions again.

I cannot praise this medication enough, and even though the initial side effects can be scary, the overall difference to the quality of life it will give you in the long run, far outweighs a week or two of feeling "high"

Best of luck to you and your baby, remember.... just breath.

Flowzer Thu 26-May-16 08:59:29

Hello, I took sertraline throughout my first pregnancy and all through breastfeeding, and my son is a happy, healthy 4 year old.

I am now 18wks pregnant with my second and there are no issues. I didn't even consider stopping it this time as I know it is much better for my baby if I am emotionally stable and coping. Neither my doctors nor my midwife have suggested I even try to come off it. Of course, no drug is totally risk free, but sertraline is considered one of the safest anti-depressants for pregnancy, second only to fluoxetine I was told (which I can't tolerate).

Best of luck and try not to worry...

Tans1987 Thu 26-May-16 09:46:00

I really appreciate your comments ladies. I slept better last night and I think is because I am coming to terms with accepting that taking the medication is better for me and the baby. I haven't been to the cinema in 2 years so I am hoping that maybe this year I will go. It's so nice to be able to speak to women who have been in similar situations to me, it's hard sometimes because I don't want people to be judging me like how can I take something when I am pregnant but I have tried for the past 12 weeks to take nothing and the panic attacks just got too much. Your advise, stories and support is such a help to me. smile xx

CarrotVan Thu 26-May-16 10:03:05

I'm in the early stages of pregnancy and have been on sertraline for a few months. My GP and I decided to stick with it and he's not particularly worried about it.

Naughty1205 Thu 26-May-16 10:10:45

I'm sitting here with my 14 week old ds in my arms. I've suffered with anxiety and depression since teens and been on a lot of different anti depressants. I was on 150mg of sertraline when I got pregnant with this baby (IVF baby) and was recommended to stay on it which I did but reduced the dose to 100mg just for myself. I was great during pregnancy. I also have did who is 5 and took lexapro while pregnant with her. Sertraline safer. I met a pharmacist of a psych hospital to go through pros and cons. Severe depression and anxiety during pregnancy really not good for the unborn. Best of luck, you won't regret taking sertraline, it's the best anti d I've been on

Tans1987 Thu 26-May-16 11:26:47

Wow it's nice to know I'm not the only one going through this or has been through this. I admire all your positivity. Did you/would you decide to have any extra scans due to taking the medication? X

CarrotVan Thu 26-May-16 11:58:20

I'm having extra scans for other reasons but it's not been suggested because of the sertraline.

Duckstar Thu 26-May-16 12:43:34

I had extra scans for other reasons, but my psychiatrist was not keen. He felt additional scans would feed my anxiety (would be reassured for a day and then panic till next scan).

Tans1987 Thu 26-May-16 13:13:48

Thanks ladies. Hopefully I will be able to start enjoying the rest of my pregnancy soon smile xx

Tans1987 Sun 29-May-16 17:20:09

I keep having nightmares about this medication. I am so scared about the affects it may or may not be having. But then I know how awful my panic attacks are. Any tips/ advice would be greatly appreciated xx

Eleanor2016 Thu 02-Jun-16 19:43:52

Tans1987, what dose are you on?
I'm 26 weeks and also on sertraline xx

Tans1987 Thu 02-Jun-16 19:59:35

Hi Eleanor
I'm on 50mg im 24 weeks pregnant now. Been on it just over a week
How are you finding it? Xx

Tans1987 Thu 02-Jun-16 19:59:59

Hi Eleanor
I'm on 50mg im 24 weeks pregnant now. Been on it just over a week
How are you finding it? Xx

Jenshoegirl Sat 30-Jul-16 19:19:36

Hi there, I'm relieved to read this thread. I've been taking 150mg sertraline for anxiety for the last 18 months and it's been brilliant for me . I'm getting married in two weeks and we are keen to start trying for a baby smile. I have spoken to a couple of different doctors, one saying to carry on taking it and the other more recently has said I should try coming off it. If I didn't there is a risk of the baby having heart defects or a serious lung condition. So now I'm in two minds, if I'm honest with myself I don't feel ready to come off it, especially as life changes can be a trigger for me, on the other hand I wouldn't forgive myself if we did get pregnant and something was wrong with the baby. I know it's a case of weighing up the risks and I'm leaning towards staying on the pills but any advice would be appreciated?!

Thanks kind Mumsnetters!

CommaStop Sat 30-Jul-16 21:50:11

Hello Jenshoegirl. Just wanted to say I was taking 150mg sertraline all through my pregnancy with my now 19 month old daughter who was born entirely healthy and is an absolutely happy, healthy child meeting all milestones etc and a joy. I know it's a hard decision and no one can make it for you but there are substantial risks also brought about by a mother suffering severe anxiety/depression during pregnancy. You say you've spoken to two doctors but not all would have equal expertise for instance a psychiatrist or ideally a perinatal psychiatrist would have much greater knowledge of this than a gp. Anecdotally for instance my bff was told to come off her ssri by her gp but very much advised to continue on it by the mental health team in the maternity hospital. I'm in Ireland not the uk so not experienced with NHS but here my psychiatrist discussed pros/cons with me and had a specialist pharmacist give me some info and then through pregnancy I saw the perinatal psychiatrist in my maternity hospital who was hugely reassuring about the risk involved. Two other things, sertraline is the safest ssri to take in pregnancy, if you are planning a pregnancy ask your gp for a prescription for high dose folic acid (5mg/day as opposed to 400iug) as this protects against increased risk of neural tube defects and has no real downside (prescribed if you're obese or on epilepsy drugs for the same thing) - ideally you shoukd be taking this for three months prior to conception. This is a decent info sheet on sertraline and preg
Any questions I'll try to answer. Take care

Titchypanda Sat 06-Aug-16 10:16:15

Just wanted to say, I'm on sertraline too. I switched from citalopram a few years back when we started trying. When I became pregnant, the GP had a good discussion with me and my OH and decided that due to how bad my anxiety is, it was safer for baby and me if I remained on the medication. I'm almost 16w now and surprisingly my anxiety has stayed manageable thanks to the meds. I do worry about the side effects, but they are so small I'm trying to think positive. Good luck!

Jenshoegirl Thu 11-Aug-16 22:52:44

Hi CommaStop,

Thanks so much for this! I have booked in to see my consultant psychiatrist when
I'm back from honeymoon so I can get an opinion from someone who knows my history.

I completely agree that an anxious mother could be equally risky. A happy and healthy Mum, albeit on Sertraline can't be wrong!

Thank you for your story and I'm so pleased to hear of your bundle of joy. Xx

Jenshoegirl Thu 11-Aug-16 22:55:04

Good luck Titchypanda! It will all work out well, I'm sure of it xx

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