Prozac and pregnancy may be a dangerous combination according to increasing amounts of research.
The reason is largely due to an increased risk of health risks to both mother and baby and possible birth defects when Prozac is taken during pregnancy.
What Is Prozac?
Prozac is used to treat depression and is a member of a class of medications called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Prozac is believed to work by blocking the re-absorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitter serotonin thereby resulting in more serotonin available in the brain which may relieve the symptoms of depression.
Health Risks To Developing Fetuses
However, there is some concern regarding taking SSRI's such as Prozac during pregnancy due to the potential health risks to developing fetuses.
For example, SSRI's are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. In addition, they found that a combination of different antidepressants doubled the risk of miscarriages.
In addition, SSRI's have been linked with a serious condition that affects newborns called PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn).
The health risks to developing fetuses are greater when SSRI's are taken during the last half of pregnancy.
Also, taking Prozac during pregnancy may result in increased risk of septal heart defects, Anencephaly, Omphalocele, and Craniosynostosis.
Does this mean that all pregnant women who take Prozac will experience birth defects? No, but the risk exists and ongoing research is still being conducted.
If you become pregnant while taking Prozac or are thinking about starting a family while taking Prozac, inform your doctor right away and discuss your options.
In order to avoid potential risks to mother and baby, your doctor may choose to adjust the dosage or investigate other treatment options.
For example, mild depression may be managed by other methods such as additional therapy. For those who suffer from major depression or have a history of major depressive episodes, the risk of depressive relapse may be greater than the risks of continuing Prozac.
This is why working with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan in important to protect both mother and baby. All factors and potential health risks to both mother and baby should be weighed carefully.
Remember not to abruptly discontinue your Prozac without consulting your doctor first, as Prozac has a risk of withdrawal. To avoid withdrawal, your doctor should gradually lower your dosage.