Although the combination of Effexor and pregnancy has not been formally tested in human subjects, animal studies suggest that the drug could potentially harm a fetus.
Also, there have been reports of newborns developing complications after being exposed to Effexor particularly during the third trimester of pregnancy.
What Is Effexor?
Effexor is a prescription medication used to treat depression, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and other conditions.
It is considered a Category C medicine, meaning that it could potentially cause harm to a developing fetus, particularly during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Possible Risk Of Birth Defects
Some of the symptoms these newborns experienced included breathing difficulties, low blood oxygen, seizures, difficulty feeding, tremors, irritability, agitation, and constant crying.
In addition, babies who are exposed to Effexor during the last trimester are also at an increased risk of developing PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn).
PPHN is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition. Women who take Effexor after week 20 of pregnancy are 6 times more likely to deliver a baby with PPHN.
Because of risks mentioned above, it is vital to inform your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Effexor or thinking about becoming pregnant while taking this drug. You doctor will discuss the pros and cons of your situation.
For example, you may experience a relapse of your depression symptoms if you stop taking your antidepressants.
This is more of a risk for those who are diagnosed with major depression. On the other hand, you and your doctor may decide to gradually wean yourself off of your medication while you are pregnant in order to avoid any potential health risks to your baby.
Your doctor may recommend other ways to combat your depression symptoms such as additional therapy, exercise, diet, or other holist approaches.
General Safety Tips
Be sure to only take your prescription medications as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take doses in excess of your prescription or skip doses. Do not give or sell your prescription antidepressants to others.
Be sure to report any side effects to your doctor. Also, inform your doctor of any severe or unusual side effects or reactions while taking this medication. In case of medical emergency, seek immediate attention at the nearest hospital emergency room if you experience any severe side effects from taking Effexor while pregnant.