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Antidepressants during pregnancy a controversial subject

An article in The Vancouver Sun examines the controversy surrounding the use of antidepressants by pregnant women.

The report quotes the director of a Canadian program that provides information and research about medical hazards for pregnant women as saying that quitting medication can be risky for clinically depressed patients who are pregnant. That can lead to hospitalization, suicide attempts, postpartum depression and the inability to care for oneself.

But the report also mentions widespread lawsuits in Canada and the United States based on studies suggesting that antidepressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are linked to heart and lung defects in babies born to mothers who take them while pregnant.

SSRIs include Zoloft and Prozac.

According to the article, about one-third of infants born to mothers taking antidepressants also appear to suffer drug withdrawal just after birth.

It cites researchers who say up to 20 percent of women will be diagnosed with depression while pregnant. About half of the women taking antidepressants stop once they find out they’re pregnant, out of safety concerns.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

See the article here:

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/dilemma+needing+drugs+depression+during+pregnancy/6694897/story.html