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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...

claudia1982 Fri 01-Aug-14 17:56:56

I'm 8weeks on 4omg but I'm still so depressed.. I dont want to come off these pills

sukhaman Sat 31-May-14 11:07:24

Hi i dnt knw how to use dis site but i m 6 weeks pregnent when doc told me m pregnent i through away citalpram . But had a shit week . Crying cnt lookafter my 6 yeaes . Thnx all of u i just had 20 gm citalpram nw nd feeling confident fr my both kids thnx alot everyone

annamaria03 Wed 07-May-14 21:08:25

i was on 30mg of celexa when i found out i was pregnant. i went down to 20mg for 1week. then 10mg for a week then i stopped. im now extremely dizzy, headakes, my blood pressure is low 80/50, im exhausted, stomach hurts, nauseous, muscle acks. my docters keep blowing me off like my symptoms arnt serious. i dont know if any of this is harming my baby or not. does anyone have any info that can help me?? im 7 weeks 3 days pregnant.

Beccamercedes93 Mon 28-Apr-14 11:35:52

Hi, I've just been to the doctors because I've been diagnosed I've got depression, I've been told to take citalopram 20mg, but me and my partner are trying for a baby, I'm not hundred percent sure if I can take it as I might be pregnant. Do you think I will be alright?
Many thanks

chezzabelle Fri 04-Apr-14 09:18:09

Hi rachelfox your GP is missinformed, as many are nowadays. I am campaigning to have stricter rules on ssri antidepressants being prescribed it pregnancy, it does cause birth defects, my baby girl was incompatible with life due to me being prescribed 60mg all through pregnancy ten years ago. If you have a leaflet from a box of the medication please read it, it states in that the known risks of heart defects, and other problems in pregnancy. Please by no means stop immediately, this is not safe, if you can try and taper the dose gradually or ask to be changed onto Prozac which there has been more testing on and it is deems to be very slightly safe, although none are safe in my opinion. Out of 100 babies 2% have birth defects, this increases to at least 4% in moms who have taken this medication. I am currently fighting with the manufacturer over my daughter's needless death and have spoken to a lot of moms in the same position. Google "panorama, the truth about pills in pregnancy" it's on YouTube, it's a documentary about citalopram and other drugs given in pregnancy. If you would like anymore info please reply and I'll do my best to help you in any way I can xxx

Rachelfox1983 Thu 03-Apr-14 16:45:33

Hi everyone, i have been searching for information on pregnancy while taking Citalopram, i started of on 20mg and then last summer went up to 30mg, been on it for about 7 years all in all.
I am currently wanting to start trying for a baby so i went to see my gp last week as i was under the impression i should be clean of my medication to start trying, she assured me i was welcome to try and reduce, so with her support i am trying to reduce from 30 to 20 daily and then hopefully from 20 to 10.. but she also stressed that me being on citalopram should in no way stop me trying for a baby, said there was no certain evidence that it effected pregnancy or baby, and that my mental health was paramount and as such would be healthy and safer for me to continue on medication to manage better than be struggling along with pregnancy.
So i think i am going to try reduce as its an achievement i want to try and make but also think if i start to struggle or continue on them i will still try for a baby. i was wondering as this thread goes back to 2008 if anyone here past or present is having or has had children while taking citalopram and if its something i should feel comfy with as i would not want to put a baby in any risk. Thanks for reading and i will be grateful for any advice and support, i just want to do whats best for myself and any child i may have.

chezabelle Thu 20-Feb-14 11:06:21

Hi I am looking to contact any mum's who have taken citalopram (or any other ssri antidepressants) in pregnancy and had a baby who suffered from birth defects heart, lung, abdominal, limb, brain ect. I took 40 -60mg of citalopram before and throughout pregnancy with my first child, she have severe multiple abnormalities and was incompatible with life. I also took if for the first two weeks of my second pregnancy and my second child was born with a respiratory defect and a pigeon shaped chest. I am completly convinced citalopram caused this. If anyone has had any similar experiences can you please get in touch. Thanks x

sweetgen Sat 01-Feb-14 21:25:18

hey really hoping someone can help me i was on citalopram for years and came off them in september. i recently found out im pregnant and have been having panic attacks and anxiety really bad the docs wont give me anything for it but i read citalopram is safe. has anyone been on them while pregnant that can help me?

Burcumsu Tue 19-Nov-13 00:30:59
There is web site talks about the side effects on the baby.

nessy1 Sun 17-Nov-13 03:43:47

I agree. I'm 8 weeks & took myself off cipramil. I can't stop crying,I'm severely depressed and anxious and can't seem to find any joy in this pregnancy. I stopped because I didn't want to harm my baby but I fear my depression is probably doing it more harm. I have 2 other children who I breast fed whilst on cipramil,with no side effects but also refusd medication whilst pregnant. Get sound advise before stopping your medication as pregnancy is hard enough without being depressed. I'm going to see my GP next week to discuss my options- I can't go another 7 months like this.

Lizbethh Thu 15-Aug-13 12:17:33


I have been reading all these blogs and I can see that I am definitely not alone. I am 26 wks pregnant with my second child and over the last few weeks I have been suffering extreme anxiety and panic. I have GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) and prior to becoming pregnant I was taking Venlafaxine but came off of this gradually. I begged my doctor to give me something else and they were not keen, I eventually started taking 10mgs of Citalopram but this is not even touching the sides. I have decided after doing lots of reading on various sites to up my dose to 20mgs, I have a box of these I can use. I feel quite guilty about taken these meds and of course this causes additional anxiety as you worry about the harm to the baby. I am so tired and living on your nerves and having panic attacks surely can't be good for a baby. I just hope that when I start upping the dosage I will start to feel more 'normal'. Any comments advice appreciated.

fmg1982 Mon 12-Aug-13 17:08:40


just wanted to add my comments, been on 20mg of cipramil for last 13 years, GPs were reluctant to keep me on it when I became pregnant and wanted to swap to prozac as more research on it and is seen as safer.

I was referred to a psychiatrist (who specialises in mental health in pregnancy) who said it was fine to stay on the medication throughout pregnancy and that i could breastfeed (i did), my child is now a very happy bubbly two year old and I had no problems with the pregnancy / birth or baby.

Was told it was more important to stay a healthy happy mum,
hope this helps

mahbobeh Wed 24-Jul-13 17:08:42

hello every body.
im not pg.but im using citalopram.i have doctor use citalo+hypnotize to help me.i hope befor pg i can stop my fobia.
do you khnow , use this medecine before pg (if i stop it before pg) have bad side efect to my baby? english not good.

SeriousStuff Fri 05-Jul-13 13:27:31

I'm glad that some attention is given to this issue but I think it's important not to react hastily to inconclusive research. I'm 25+6 weeks today and have been taking citalopram for the last 4 years. I personally feel much better on the drug and for me, having a pregnancy free of anxiety attacks and depression was key. I am however, on a low dose of 10mg so maybe looking at reducing the dose during pregnancy would be preferable to coming off it completely.

glossy one thing I've asked all MWs and consultants I've seen is about breastfeeding - I have had different advice from most but surely, if I've been taking citalopram throughout the pregnancy, the drug will already be in the baby's system so breastfeeding wouldn't make a difference?

Lyndyloo8 Fri 05-Jul-13 01:11:38

I have just watched the Panorama programme about what affect taking drugs have on women when pregnant and there it was Citalopram. I was on 30mg Citalopram for just under a year when I fell pregnant. I was delighted as at 41 thought this would be my last chance. My doc did tell me that it wasn't advisable to get pregnant whilst taking any meds but there wasnt enough research to prove a link with Citalopram. On another visit another doctor at my surgery (a lady doc) advised me that she had lots of patients who had taken Citalopram whilst pregnant and had no problems and I should be ok as long as I was off them before my last trimester. Unfortunately I miscarried at 6 weeks. I am hoping to be off the meds before the end of August, I am now down to 15mg. I am due to go back the docs tomorrow for my repeat prescription but I am going to ask them if the 'yellow form' was filled in and sent to the Citalopram manufacturer, apparently this should be done if a doc thinks thinks there may have been a link with the medication (which I do).

Clarabell78 Tue 25-Jun-13 20:56:49

With my first pregnancy which was unplanned I was taking 40mg daily up to around 8weeks when I then managed to get down to 20mg. Unfortunately at our 20 week scan out little boy was diagnosed with heart problems which were not compatible with life and we lost him. I saw a psychiatrist who specializes in ante natal care afterwards who advised that while a link could not be ruled out there was no way to prove that the two were connected and equally it may have happened anyway. I wasn't prepared to take th risk again when trying again and managed to wean myself off (after 10+ years on medication) before falling pregnant again. I am now almost 38 weeks with a healthy baby who had no problems on any of the scans :-)

It's a very very difficult one but for me personally not a risk I was willing to take.

Tigglettchic Tue 25-Jun-13 19:21:07

Hi all,

Panicky Paula,

Firstly, congratulations on your amazing pregnancy luck!!

Secondly, I was similarly concerned, I talked to my GP and he said that were as it is preferable that you don't take any medication during pregnancy, it is safer to keep taking what you are on than come off it.

I am on 20mg of Citalopram and he said that the risk was so tiny they are not actually sure it is down to the drugs.

Just think, if you had not found out you were pregnant till wk 12 or later and had continued to say...drink or smoke, you would be just as worried but you cannot do anything about it.

You will have enough to worry about in the next few months and 18 years +, don't sweat the stuff you cannot do anything about!!

Enjoy the glow(apparently that comes but I have not found it at the bottom of my toilet bowl!!)


Sunflower1985 Tue 25-Jun-13 18:57:15

Saw this research too. Been on 40mg for years. The story said the risk of baby heart defects goes from 2 to 4% if the mother is taking the ssri in early pregnancy. Although there are studies supporting either side of the argument. It's also important to include the risks of not taking the antidepressant if you're depressed.
I think it's important to remember research is on going and you do the best with the information you have at the time. Who knows what will be the next study to emerge or how rigorous the work will be.

PanickyPaula Tue 25-Jun-13 16:20:51

I am hoping that one of your lovely ladies will be able to offer some words of support / advice, as you may have been through this already, and come out the other end..

I am 8 weeks pregnant with twins following my 5th cycle of IVF ( I am 38).

I have been taking 20mg of citalopram for several years, for depression and anxiety. Throughout my 4 previous cycles (at The Lister and Kings College Hospital) it was never mentioned that this could cause any risks, and I therefore didn't realise I had any cause for concern when we got our positive test result recently.

It was only when I went to the GP to confirm my pregnancy at 6 weeks, that I was advised to come down to 10mg per day, I did that straight away. Then, yesterday, I heard some rsearch findings on the radio where a link has been found between heart defects and citalopram during pregnancy - and I felt sheer panic. I went to see my GP and have agreed to wean off it completely in the next 2 weeks, so I will be off in completely by week 10.

My concen is that I have already done damage to my unborn babies which is irreversible.

Is it too late? Is 20mg daily enough to cause me great concern?

Have any of you been through a similar thing?



glossyflower Tue 09-Apr-13 10:52:04

caryn yes it's because you swapped straight away and didn't wean down. Your GP should have known better really but was was the rationale for swapping according to your GP?

See my previous post re anger when off citalopram.


glossyflower Tue 09-Apr-13 10:48:30

I have not read your whole thread but here's my story of citalopram and pregnancy.

This is 1st pg and unplanned. When I found out I was pg I had been taking 40mg of citalopram daily and getting on well with it.
At about 7 weeks I developed severe hyperemesis and couldn't take any tablets or eat properly for about 10 weeks and recovered enough to get back to work when I was about 5 months pg.
I was very ill but was pleased I was off the antidepressants as I didn't want to affect my baby.
I had discussed with my GP early on and was told although its better to not be on any prescription drugs whilst pg, citalopram is one of the safer anti depressants to take. There's no controlled trials on them for pg women, but they know the biggest risk to baby is being born with it in their system and then suffering withdrawal symptoms.
So, I was then off the tablets and I started to become extremely angry and verbally aggressive to my long suffering DH, I was throwing things around, hitting and kicking walls, laundry basket, I got impatient using a hammer to remove a nail which wouldn't budge and ended up smacking the hammer in my nicely tiled floor blush. Quite scary when I think about it now.
I realised I was on a downward spiral and made an appointment to see my GP again after I had a screaming and crying fit so bad (and I have never ever behaved like that before), my husband had to physically restrain me as I was going proper mental, screaming that the baby had to come out and come out now because whilst baby was inside me I couldn't guarantee it's safety. I was suicidal and really upset that being pregnant stopped me from hurting myself.
My GP was very understanding and said I needed to go back on the citalopram, the risks of not taking it were greater than taking it.
I started back on 20mg and noticed a big improvement. My GP and I talked about it at great length and he said I can cut to 10mg once I feel stable enough and nearer the due date could even take 10mg every other day which I am doing now at 38 weeks.
I am concerned about the baby withdrawing, and asked if the drug crosses over in breast milk as I could potentially offset the withdrawal side effects in my milk by weaning down, but unfortunately very small amounts of citalopram is transferred to breast milk hence the weaning down just before due date.
I'm fully prepared that my baby might be affected once born, but I know the side effects are short term and I'd rather my baby have a mentally sound mother. My worst fear would be for me to be ill and for my child to see me like that affecting baby's development and childhood.

And I learned the hard way previously, you never ever go cold turkey on any antidepressant, you have to wean down.


Let us know how you get on xxx

carynh Tue 09-Apr-13 09:00:05

I'm 5 weeks pregnant now & up to now I've have been on 40mg Citalopram. Went to see my GP when I found out I was pregnant & she swapped me to Sertraline 100mg immediately.
I am SO ANGRY at the moment - is that because I've just done a straight swap to the new SSRI?

Lindalove Wed 13-Mar-13 16:23:44

I am on Citalopram at the moment and likely to stay on SSRIs as have had anxiety issues all my life and had a bad episode last year, that I really don't want to go through again. Anyway long story short but this year me and husband are probably going to TTC this year so I went to the doctor to talk about all things pills yesterday. He said that although they prefer mums to be to not be on any pills they understand that some people really have a much better life on them (especially if they have been anxious much of their life like me which suggests a chemical imbalance) but he suggested they'd like to shift me onto another SSRI, Sertraline, just because they have more evidence about how it affects babies to be. Anyway I think this is what I will be doing, if anyone has any experience of swapping over please do shout, as I want to be settled down chemically & mentally before we start to try. I am hoping I can swap and be settled in 3 months time.

IndianSummerBaby Sun 03-Feb-13 11:08:17

Hi everyone. I am just under 8 weeks. I have been talking citalopram for 5 years. I consulted my GP as soon as I found out I was pregnant as I had no idea how med would impact development of pregnancy. I was on 40mg/day, my GP advised me to adjust intake to 2x20mg one day, and then 1x20mg the next with the view to bringing dosage down to 20mg/day. I've so far been okay, just felt the funny head rush sensation every now and then that I have experienced if I have missed a day. I was really worried about medication and pregnancy, I couldn't find anything on line to put my mind at ease. I just read a page about breast feeding whilst taking citalopram and it advised against it which came as a disappointment. A friend told me that the hospital I have opted for has a foetal medicine unit. I'll ask my midwife how I go about accessing the unit for advice so I can stop giving myself things to be anxious about! Xxx

Jammother Tue 25-Sep-12 13:59:33

I have a 2.5 DS and I'm 36 weeks pg now. I took Fluoxetine through my first pregnancy as well as an anti-psychotic and I have been doing the same in this pregnancy. I was referred to a gynaecologist with a specialism in high-risk pregnancies due to medication and she told me that although official guidance is that these drugs are not safe in pregnancy due to insufficient, she knew several medical trials that were not available to the public which showed that most ADs and APs produced no more or less birth defects than a mother taking no medication. Many hospitals have a psychiatrist attached with a specialism in anti-natal care.

I take my medication because I need it to live a normal and healthy life - it is not a lifestyle choice. If I were diabetic then I would not cease to take this because I was pregnant as it would be essential to the health of my and my baby. The same applies to my current meds.

Most GPs will have an automatic reflex to tell you to stop taking the medication. I find this ironic as my anti-psychotic medication is strictly controlled and GPs are not able to prescribe it without a psych writing the initial prescription. If they can't give it to me in the first place, then do they really have the expertise to tell me to stop taking it?

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