Women of reproductive age have the highest rates of clinical depression, and research shows that 1 in 10 women will...
Women of reproductive age have the highest rates of clinical depression, and research shows that 1 in 10 women will newly develop depression during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period. Many women fear that they’ll have to give up their medication or give up their dream of having a family. The good news is that women may be able to safely do both. A new study featured in the June 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are not a direct link to most birth defects in newborns. SSRIs include medications like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. Within the last few years the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both issued warnings against Paxil because of its chances of increasing birth defects. Still, here’s what the newest in-depth study says:
“Our findings do not show that there are significantly increased risks of craniosynostosis, omphalocele, or heart defects associated with SSRI use overall. They suggest that individual SSRIs may confer increased risks for some specific defects, but it should be recognized that the specific defects implicated are rare and the absolute risks are small.”
I think this is great news for women who take antidepressants, and it's reassuring that so many studies are looking out for the welfare of mothers and babies. But there's so much conflicting information. It's best to talk about these issues with your care provider so that you can receive the most current and personalized information for your unique situation.

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