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citalopram and early pregnancy

(172 Posts)
iamamartian Thu 17-Jan-08 10:18:28

i am on 20mg of citalopram and 6 weeks pregnant, gp said it was fine to take it in pregnancy. in the last few days i have been feeling panicky and anxious again, hadn't felt like this for months and months, what a bummer. should i increase the dosage? have been on 20mg for about 10 months...

missvicki Thu 17-Jan-08 10:35:00

Hi, i'm not an expert but was on 40mg citalopram when i got pregnant (now 25 weeks pregnant) Gp said to me it was perfectly safe but because i was worried he reduced it to 20mg. However had such bad morning sickness that wasn't able to take my tablet and haven't done since. But have to be honest the come down off them was quite bad so if you can stick with it i would.

As for increasing i'm not sure and would seek advice from gp? but as i said earlier my Gp said they were perfectly safe to baby, but it's weighing up your needs to that of the baby. Or have you maybe considered other help like the community psychiatric team. I have just been refered to them because i'm not on my citalopram anymore and am stuggling with stress's of day to day life, midwife thought it might but useful to have that extra support to help me through and to be extra prepared in case of postnatal depression.

As i said above i'm not an expert but am in similar situation and didn't want to see your post go unanswered.

iamamartian Thu 17-Jan-08 10:55:28

thank you that sounds useful! i am actually having a good day today, so who knows!

horsygirl Thu 17-Jan-08 12:01:42

I was on citalopram 40mg until I realised I was pregnant and the doctor advised me to stop as there was not enough research and he would rather if anything I was on prozac as it's been around longer. So I weaned myself off citalopram. big mistake I felt like shite. Went to see CONSULTANT at hospital who rolled her eyes and said I should never have come off it but since I had did I want to try Prozac? She put me straight on 40mg of that and I've been fine since. In fact better than being on Citalopram funnily enough!

iamamartian Thu 17-Jan-08 12:14:19

Poor you, some gps are really ignorant about antidepressants, mine is great fortunately.

babylove21 Fri 18-Jan-08 02:53:39

iamamartian, i was on cipralex to begin with and like you panicked and stopped them after conflicting advice. My consultant suggested the benefit out weighs the risk and she would rather i take them then suffer in silence. The come down is bad. I have a pack in the drawer and i am trying hard to start taking them again but restling with my concience. doesnt help that dp is dead against me taking them, but then he has no idea just how ill depression can make you.

Celbeck01 Fri 18-Jan-08 19:19:00

Hi! I too am 6 weeks pregnant and taking 20mg Citlopram daily. I spoke to my GP about safety in pregnancy before husband and I started actively trying. He said should be OK but we could discuss as and when issue arises (eg now) I've got appt to see him on Friday but came on this site to ask advice.... To be honest I am reluctant to come off the med as have tried to before and it wasn't good experience. As it is I have enough general anxieties about pregnancy without being without medication - would be AWFUL. Let me know your thoughts and decision 'Iamamartian' as we are in almost identical situations.
Becki x

janeh39 Thu 06-Mar-08 11:39:42

Hi Becki/and all
Hope you are well,i was just wondering how you got on with doc? as im 6 weeks pregnant and my doc took me straight off citlopram and im having a real hard time,esp as ive given up smoking too!
Any advice?
much appreciated
Jane x

iamamartian Thu 06-Mar-08 20:56:17

well, saw my gp and she was very supportive and was happy to increase my dosage from 20g to 30g, may have to increase it again if pregnancy hormones carry on playing such havoc with my system; go back to your gp and say taht you cannot cope without it, i really think they shouldn't have let you stop! if the gp is not supportive, ask to be referred as an emergency to a psychiatrist, as you are pregnant you should be seen pretty quickly. go with your dp if you think you need extra support to fight your corner.
good luck, it is hard but the medecine is a godsend, absolutely not dangerous for the baby!

janeh39 Thu 06-Mar-08 23:28:16

Thank you for your response, i will def go back and see gp
Btw has anyone else had to stop/cut down smoking and is having a hard time?
Jane x

Celbeck01 Sat 08-Mar-08 07:26:06

Hi janeh39/and all
Well, I'm 13 weeks now and still taking Citalopram. My GP seemed to think the benefits of taking it far outweigh any minimal risks. I attempted to (on his guidance if I chose) to cut dosage from 20mg to 10mg daily but felt felt twitchy and had to revert to original dose. Midwife and all I've seen since have been supportive about me taking the medication. Have been booked in to see consultant at ante natal clinic at 14 weeks to discuss. To be honest I get the impression they are more concerened about post natal depression and keeping an eye.


gillmoouk Sat 08-Mar-08 10:12:36

32 wks pregnant with 2nd baby have been on citalopram 20mg with both pregnancys. my little boy is 2 and suffered no adverse effects from me taking the tablets while pregnant. there is not a lot of info on this subject and what there is is conflicting.

flump1 Tue 18-Mar-08 18:12:07

Hi everyone, im 11 weeks pregnant and Ive been suffering with palpations and anxiety symptoms, ie tight jaw, rushes of adrenaline and general twitchiness. Just come back from gp and he has put me on Citalopram 10mgs, still nervy to take it, scared it will hurt the baby. What do you think?

kas1305 Mon 21-Jul-08 20:18:47

Hi everyone, my husband and i have decided to have our second baby.... I had such bad depression after our first child , i didnt think we would ever be at this happy stage adding to our family !! BUT i am on 20mg of citalopram a day and have never felt better. I am so worried about stopping them (as i know how i was before this amazing tablet) But also dont want to cause any harm to what will be our new baby.... please help !!

Leilani1337 Thu 31-Jul-08 19:31:01

I am 9 wks pregnant and 2 wks ago was told by the dr to go cold turkey and stop taking citalopram as its not one of the safe anti-depressants. Within days ive been feeling anxious & having negative thoughts about having this much wanted baby. Ive been like Satan to my other half bless him! As a result ive just taken a tablet this morning & already i feel more human again. Im being told by a friend that her doc said citalopram is safe and certain websites say its safe & others not. As a result im so confused. I just want to be able to enjoy this pregnancy and be happy about the baby but i want the baby to be safe. Just a warning to anyone thinking of going cold turkey off them, DONT!! Until i find out exactly whats what im going to take half a tab to keep the withdrawals at bay. I just pray this is safe...{hmm}

Steph100 Fri 05-Sep-08 09:06:28


New to this site but wanted to add my comments on this matter. Had been on Fluoxetine before I was pregnant but stopped 3 months before conception. I am now 17 weeks pregnant. I have been suffering really bad with depression again from about 6 weeks after conception and it was getting worse. Spoke to my midwife who referred me straight back to my GP the same day. The long and short of it was that they were glad I had mentioned it rather than carrying on suffering as in there opinion it was just as dangerous for the baby if not more so that I was so depressed. I am now on Citalopram 20mg a day as this is apparantly safer than the fluoxetine. Although my partner is not happy about this as he feels I should be able to control things without the medication I am feeling better already with no more irrational thoughts and anxiety attacks so just going to see how it goes. Sites like this have been an invaluable source of help and its really good to hear others that are in the same situation!

boo71 Fri 05-Sep-08 09:16:48

hi-my names is becky. i am 37 and 11 weeks pregnant with 3rd baby. i was put on 20mg of citalipram 3 years ago for anxiety attacks and it has helped so much. you cannot just come off this powerful drug as it is bad for you and baby. better to plod along slowly and continue with them than give your body a big shock!! i dont think you can breast feed with citalipram though. hope this helps abit.x

st1986 Thu 18-Sep-08 08:45:48

hi i've just got married and me and my husband really want a baby, i'm on the contraceptive implant at the moment but it comes out in november, i'm also on 20mg of citalopram a day as i suffered bad panic attacks and anxiety since i was 17 these tablets are amazing and would niot want to come off them just yet, i would also like to breast feed as breast is besthmm. i'm only 22 and would just like some advice from some women who have been through full term pregnancy and have given birth and did they breast feed.
many thanx

Nikeeta Sat 13-Dec-08 00:42:09


I'm 23 now and my husband and I have decided we are ready for an addition to our family. We wish to start for our first child. I suffer very heavily from depression and I'm currently at 60mg daily; and even that isn't always enough to help me stay 'myself'. I've noticed a lot of you women are only on 20mg, or even 10mg. I wonder if 60 is too high to be safe to my child. I truly want a child, a reminder of how much love I can give another life. And gosh, I have so much love to give.

So yes, I'm extremely excited and happy that my husband fully supports me, even with the risk of citalopram....I just hope my doctor supports me too.

Anyone on 60mg and expecting?

christmasiana Sat 13-Dec-08 00:46:37

i am not sure, i am on 20 like the others

you should speak to doctor I think, I am sure they will be supportive.

Are you having therapy too?

I am being referred to a counsellor specifically during pregnancy, it can be quite an up and down time too, I found the last trimester with my last baby quite difficult. maybe your GP would consider doing that?

Nikeeta Sat 13-Dec-08 01:03:10

Hi christmasiana,

Thanks for your swift reply!

I've gone to therapy, however my therapist wasn't very on the ball and didn't understand the complex nature of my depression.

Right now I'm waiting to hear back from the NHS complaints leader, Trevor, to help me find another therapist. 3 months and counting to find one which is meant to deal with depression, agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder.

Wonder if the doctor will help me find a new therapist faster now that I'm planning

Are you aware of any other drugs which have a clear history on the effects of pregnancy and have resulted in being absolutely fine for a pregnant woman?

brettgirl2 Sat 13-Dec-08 09:37:15

I don't know anything about antidepressants but you really need to see a doctor for advice. If they are unsure or if you are not happy with the advice they give then ask to be referred to an obstetrician - they may offer this anyway but this is the best way of getting expert advice on the safest way to manage your condition. Good luck! smile

apf Sat 20-Dec-08 11:17:41

Hello all,

Just sat here on the internet searching the internet for antidepressents and pregnancy as my new husband and i want to try for a baby in the new year. I stumbled across this conversation and how reassured i feel now that there are so many people in the same boat. I've come off prozac to try for a baby but i have really bad anxiety and feel generally low. My GP has said that ideally shouldn't be on antidepressants whilst pregnant, however, we'd have to weigh it up as and when it happens. My mother got pschisophrenia after childbirth, so this worrys the hell out of me. She had to have electric shock treatment (this was 33 years ago now) and got better but ever since has refused medication so has got progressively worse. I am the other way as in i take medication and am a believer in it so i hope this works in my favour! Interested to hear from anyone else that has had a mother in similar circumstances and went on to have a baby and still sane themselves???

gettingstarted Sun 28-Dec-08 17:53:10

Having read this I'm going back on my tablets. Halved about 2 months ago and then came off a couple of weeks ago - and feel awful. Don't want to go back to work, tearful, exhausted and just.... sad back on them tonight me thinks.
As to other stuff, my friend has bi-polar and was sectioned a couple of times before birth, but has been fine since - she went back on her tablets as soon as she'd given birth so couldn't breast feed. She's had ups and downs since but only small ones. A lot of it is that she has a reason to look after herself and make sure she stays well and keeps medicated etc. She has a lovely son and is more sane than before. Fingers crossed eh!

apf Tue 30-Dec-08 13:15:11

oh dear, i'm sorry to hear you're feeling rubbish. What is your situation? Are you planning on having a baby/pregnant? Have you gone back on your tablets? I'm debating going back on mine as i just don't feel right. Another trip to the docs for me on saturday, a different doctor so no doubt a different view on the whole antidepressant issue. You say your friend was sectioned while she was pregnant, that's so sad. What exactly was wrong with her? Did they have to give her medication when they sectioned her? Hope your feeling better!

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