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Doctor: Withdrawal during pregnancy a factor for SSRI use

In an entry for her blog “Child in Mind,” pediatrician Dr. Claudia Gold addresses the issue of pregnant women stopping antidepressants use because they’re concerned about birth defects.

Gold cites examples from the book Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up by Kaitlin Bell Barnett.

According to Gold, women who were started on the class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, have a difficult choice if and when they decide to have children. If they stop taking SSRIs, they can “rebound with debilitating symptoms of depression,” Gold writes.

Yet they may also be worried about the medical establishment’s uncertainty regarding the use of antidepressants during pregnancy — especially in light of studies indicating that SSRIs might put a fetus at greater risk of birth defects, including potentially deadly heart and lung disorders.

Gold points out that depression itself can have a negative affect on a developing fetus. But she said parents and clinicians must consider the difficulty of withdrawal when weighing the question of whether to put an adolescent on antidepressants, well before pregnancy becomes an issue.

SSRI antidepressants include Zoloft and Prozac.

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

See the blog entry here: