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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...

gettingstarted Wed 31-Dec-08 14:46:02

She was sectioned before pregnancy, but was fine through pregnancy and has been ok since. She has Bi-polar she is always on meds. I have basic depression, I'm fine when I'm on meds, just don't cope so well without. I'm ttc at the moment, and have gone back on tablets. I'm starting to feel better already - and my partner is pleased as I've been a 'mare to live with the last month or two. What about you? Are ttc or pregnant?

MsG Wed 31-Dec-08 16:07:57

Hi there, I'm not on any meds at the moment but have taken Fluoxetine and Citalopram before. Last year I talked to my doctor about my fears of how I might feel during pregnancy (I have OCD and intermittent depression) and he told me that a lot of research has been done into Fluoxetine (Prozac) in pregnancy over the years and how he would feel more comfortable with me taking that if I needed to than with, for example, St John's Wort or Bach's Rescue Remedy, as these things haven't been as tested.

Fortunately, I'm 18 weeks pregnant now and haven't needed to take tablets, but it just helps me to know it's an option if I did get bad. My nurse and midwife preferred me not to take anything when I first got pregnant if possible (I've moved and don't have the same fab doctor, unfortunately) but I think they were being cautious rather than from any evidence. x

apf Thu 01-Jan-09 17:35:41

Hello there and happy new year! thanks for both of your messages. It's so nice to talk to people that are going through similar experiences in life and share similar worries! Glad you are feeling better already gettingstarted. How long have you been trying for? It's literally early days for me, we're going to start properly this month, ttc (took me a minute to work that one out :O) I keep changing my mind as i'm just worried how i'll be, but i'm feeling more and more confident as i read your messages. Congratulations MsG on your pregnancy, how lovely! Glad you are feeling ok and not needed the tablets. I take it this is your first? How does your new doc feel about tabs during pregnancy? From my experience its very mixed opinions from different GPs!

gettingstarted Thu 01-Jan-09 19:55:58

I'm only on my second month of trying - due to ovulate again tomorrow. Difference is I'm gay so it's taken a lot of planning to find the right donor. I would say I do find it quite stressful, but I think that is mainly the unsexy way I am ttc! Sex would be much better! Good luck - no harm in trying, you never know how long its going to take, so I reckon get started earlier rather than when you are desperate. Good luck grin

Reevesie76 Fri 02-Jan-09 14:12:53

I am so glad i found this site. I have been on 20mg citalopram for about 3 months now and its been a godsend. Like you lovely ladies we want to start a family, we are off to Orlando in a couple of weeks and I thought it would be a perfect time to start trying. I am so glad i stumbled across this site, I was worrying myself about being on any kind of medication and the effects it would have to unborn baby, am so glad that it seems ok to take it, although if and when we do get pregnant I will still talk to my doctor about it. Its just good to know that we can start trying now. thanks

apf Fri 02-Jan-09 19:30:13

Thanks gettingstarted, good luck to you too! It's great you have found the right donor! Hello Reevesie76! It's reassuring to hear from others in the same boat isn't it :O)

st1986 Sat 10-Jan-09 18:02:44

hi i'm on 20mg of citalopram and me and my husband are trying for a baby, my doctor said it's fine to carry on taking this as it would be worse for me to come off my medication as there are no known risks to harm the baby, we've been trying for a couple of months so fingers crossed. (wink)

katster37 Sat 24-Jan-09 08:23:45

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone is about on this thread. I am TTC (have been for 4 months), but am feeling extremely depressed and anxious (not about TTC especially) and having bad anxiety symptoms GP prescribed me Citalopram (20mg) and Beta Blockers. I really don't want to take either as I have been on Citalopram before and the weaning off them wasn't pleasant. However, I feel pretty bad so I might be swayed. My GP knows we are TTC and actually told me I was too anxious to do this, and I would be a 'nightmare' when I was pregnant... Not sure what to make of it really. My anxiety/depression isn't to do with TTC and I felt really hurt by the GP's advice. I am currently going to pay for CBT as the NHS waiting list is 6 months long. Does anyone else think the GP's advice is a bit strange? And should I START taking the meds when I am actively TTC and could have to come off them in a few months? Thanks.

Wenlo Mon 26-Jan-09 18:54:46

Has anyone had trouble getting pregnant while on Citalopram?

alandimi Mon 26-Jan-09 19:51:14

I had been on 40mg citalopram for clinical depression for about a year when I accidently got pregnant in Dec 07. When i decided I wanted to keep dd (about 6 wks pregnant) I called my doctor and he recommended me coming off them as there was very little research with regard to citalopram and pregnancy (he did say there were antidepressants that were considered OK during pregnancy but I didn't want to have them). I did it gradually and was off them in about 3-4 weeks. I would never recommend anyone going cold turkey. Had a difficult couple of weeks mid pregnancy and got referred to an anti-natal depression clinic but they took forever to make an appointment by which point I had worked through it (my mother is bloody marvellous!!!).

I found councilling very helpful and my local doctor was fantastic as he knew a lot about depression and he was easy to talk to.

I count myself very lucky - I think my dd is my saving grace and I never been so happy. It is always in the back of my mind that my depression might come back and my mother is constantly checking I'm ok but so far I'm doing pretty well.

Everyone is different but as my doctor (who sort of specialised in depression) didn't recommend staying on citalopram I would suggest gradually changing to a different antidepressant - one that is known to be safe during pregnancy.

Jackaroo Tue 27-Jan-09 05:22:42

I have been on cipralex for both my successful (so far!) pregnancies, and have been absolutely fine - admittedly I weaned off before the 3rd trimester the first time, and am going to try and do the same thing again this time. Having actually READ the papers/studies/reviews, as well as millions of anecdotal stories, I would always say don't try and come off them unless you're really confident that YOU geniunely feel better, not that you feel you must for the pregnancy, and that you have a lot of support.

It is found, over and over again, that the risk to the unborn/born child, and mother, is far greater when the mother is depressed than when she is on antidepressants.

Let me know if you need any specific links...



PS I am so sad to see unsupportive partners out there, it's not want you need in a situation like this!

Misssunshine343 Fri 29-May-09 09:12:27

Well, I've just been to my GP and had different advice again. I'm on 20mg citalopram and can't bear the thought of coming off them. but we are getting married in 2 weeks (woo hoo) and want to start a family then. So I consulted my GP and he told me that if I continue to take it the risks are that the baby will suffer neo natal withdrawal (jitters etc.) Like we all find withdrawal from the drug. That must be an awful thing to put a baby through but I see none of you have been told this, I'm really puzzled. He actually advised me not to start a family until I've come off it!

Wonderwitch Fri 29-May-09 12:23:09

Hi All,

Now this is weird, i was on citalopram way before I was pregnant then I was put on a stronger tab ( the one up from Citalopram) sorry cant remember the name, and was on these when i fell PG, which i was told to come off cold turkey, god did I suffer!! and another doc was annoyed an said I should have come off slowly hmm

I just went for my first MW appt and was told the only 'safe' anti depressant is prozac during pregnancy, and was told citalopram is one of the unsafe ones along with the one I was on. we were talking about this as they want me to now go back on something as I am suffering, mainly due to my current circumstances (very long story)

Does anyone know what is right, there seems to be such different opinions, TBH It's quite scary the different views from different docs/ MW's, how on earth do we trust what they are telling us??

It's actually worrying me about going back on any tabs now.

MsBrandybuck Sat 30-May-09 15:12:36

I came off Citalopram when I became pregnant on my GP's advice. He didn't think staying on them was a problem, more he thought I was due to come off them soon anyway. However the same GP also prescribed me Co-codamol for my SPD. The leaflet says not advisable in pregnancy and my midwife has recommended that I don't use them hmm.
I think (not an expert disclaimer) that Prozac is considered safe because it has been around far longer. ADs can't be ethically tested on pregnant women so it's a case of waiting long enough to see if there are problems at some point in the future.
However, I do think what Misssunshine says about withdrawal makes sense and would also be the reason for not taking the Co-codamol especially in late pregnancy too.

waiting4baby Thu 11-Jun-09 22:59:33

I am also TTC and have been on anti-depressants for 10 years. (not able to come off). I am on 30 mg of citalopram. In the peer reviewed research I have come across, citalopram is considered "safe" but there have been some instances of newborns going through some withdrawal (jittery, crying) for about 2 weeks. So far none of the research has revealed any serious or long term disability for the infants. There is some suggestion that this is most severe in patients who began taking the citalopram in the third trimester.

Citalopram is an SSRI which has withdrawal effects. Weaning your body is better! There is also some suggestion to come off the citalopram in the third trimester...if it is safe to do so. Some patients (like myself) can become suicidal or self-harming when off the medication, and that will do no-one, especially little baby , any good at all.

For those of you still wondering and are getting conflicting advice, or aren't being supported by their G.P.'s, please get yourself referred to an OBGYN, a Psychiatrist and a psychologist/social worker for counseling. The OBGYN is an expert in pregnancy, not so with your G.P. The Psychiatrist is an expert in dealing with the medical side of mental illness, not so with your GP The psychologist or social worker can help you deal with the day to day stress that is still in our lives!

Jackaroo Thu 11-Jun-09 23:19:55

If you search on here, there were a couple of recent threads where we included links showing evidence about Citalopram/Escitalopram etc - all positive btw, and I also wrote out my withdrawal programme which worked a treat.

Unfortunately I've come off the drugs, am now 38 weeks and realising that actually I still have the same situation/DH as before - so maybe I should've stayed on them.... <J doesn't know whether to use the grin or sad emoticon>

firsttimenome Thu 18-Jun-09 19:32:37

thank you so much for all of you who have posted. you have helped ease my worries.

I've been on citalopram for 18mths now and went up to 40mg 6mths ago. i tried a month ago to reduce my meds by 10mg without much success. I worked on the basis that keeping mum healthy and sane would be better for baby than the alternative so i went back up and have since been put on another drug to keep me from self harming. I've been so worried that i was going to cause problems to the development of my child or that i would end up in 7mths time with a baby hooked on AD's. Now i know that the risk really is low after reading the posts and some research I've found and that even if the baby does suffer from withdraw then it won't be anything more than what we go through each time we drop down. some research I came across said that it is in breast milk but that it's way less than the 10% concern level so i might be able to breast feed too.

thanks again for putting a very worried and scared mum to be at ease. wink

sofa76 Fri 03-Jul-09 17:34:15

hi all, iam about 4 weeks pregant , iam on 20mg of citalopram and 80mg propranolol a day, my doc said i should rejuice them but after reading all the good reports , iam not so sure iam just worried about the propranolol , i have been trying to get pregant for 3 years so iam happy but very unsure of the anxity coming back

difficultdecision Fri 03-Jul-09 18:14:02


Sorry just seen this message and it is probably too late but just in case...

Co-codamol is ok in pregnancy and our obstetricians locally use it a lot in SPD pain. Because it contains codeine (same type of painkiller as morphine, pethidine, tramadol) it can make baby a bit sleepy if it is used too much very close to labour so that is why people worry.

But, if the SPD is too bad for paracetanol and physo to help then the benefits outweigh the risks and it is sued under doctor's supervision as the other type of painkillers (ibuprofen, diclofenac etc) are much less safe in pregnancy.

Hope your SPD has gone now anyway

(a doctor)

difficultdecision Fri 03-Jul-09 18:14:36

used obviously - we don't tend to sue medicine!

(a doctor who cannot spell)

xkatyx Tue 19-Jan-10 12:10:42

Hi everyone :-)

I'm new on here, and was really hoping for some advice. I am currently on 20mg of citalopram and have been on for about 3 month's and i am doing very well on them. I have 2 children but me and my husband were hoping to have another baby and woundered if it was safe, also in my last pregnancy i developed gestational diabetes and have been told it is very likely to come back if i get pregnant again, has anyone had the same exsperience or can help?

kind regards

tinylion Tue 19-Jan-10 12:17:16

I took 40mg of citalopram right through my last healthy pregnancy, and now I'm on it again through this one. No problems atall - got a beautiful healthy dd. Dr is more than happy to let me stay on it - otherwise I can't function! Don't worry....

xkatyx Tue 19-Jan-10 12:20:27

That is very helpfull thank you, did you find that being pregant even though on tablets you felt deppressed or did it all go smoothly, i am a little worried as i was very deppressed with my last 2 just didnt realise it at the time, now im on the tablets i wounder how i coped with out them.

xkatyx Wed 20-Jan-10 16:37:01

I'm trying to stay positive about this but get really annoyed when people who don't understand what deppresion is like telling me i will just have to come of the tablets because they know so and so who miscarried etc!!


tinylion Wed 20-Jan-10 19:56:10

I noticed I was more anxious throughout my pregnancy even with the 40mg, so yes, the anxiety was still there, and I had a few "black" days but NOTHING as bad as the depression I had after my last child (I was taken off Citalopram due to risks of passing it over in breastfeeding). this time I plan to stay on them through bf, as really the amount passed over is tiny, esp as baby has been exposed to 40mg every day for 40 weeks!

You will probably find that the tablets will be a proper help through your pregnancy even if the hormones kick in to make you a little more anxious than normal.

I love these boards as there are plenty of preggers women out there who suffer from anxiety and it makes me feel not so alone.

Ignore people and their second hand stories. Not helpful. Antenatal depression and PND can be a real problem - much better to cope and take the tablets rather than fall apart and struggle with baby bonding etcetera. My opinion anyway!! Good luck xxxxxxxxxx

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