Will Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Harm My Baby?

The developmental time in the womb is very susceptible to any foreign chemicals. The brain is particularly sensitive.

Many pregnant women have concerns over the use of pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy.  Drugs like Tylenol and ibuprofen are already known to be unsafe.  Given the wide use of antidepressant in society today, this class of drugs obviously comes up.

As far as I’m concerned, the use of ANY drug during pregnancy is a time bomb waiting to happen.

This particular study evaluated the potential outcomes of antidepressant use during pregnancy.  The results were a little scary as it relates to the outcomes of the pregnancy:

  •  Of the women who had a prescription for an antidepressant prior to getting pregnant, 75% of them did not fill the prescription in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy
  • 10.7% of them used antidepressants throughout pregnancy
  • Filling antidepressant prescriptions during the second trimester was associated with shorter length of pregnancy (1.7, 2.7 and 4.9 days for 1, 2 or >3 prescriptions filled)
  • Third-trimester SSRI use was associated with 490% increased risk of infant convulsions for having ≥3 prescriptions being filled

Another thing to consider that is not mentioned here.  In any situation, anytime the developing baby is exposed to artificially higher levels of some hormone (insulin from gestational diabetes, cortisol from increased stress, serotonin from SSRI use, etc…) his or her physiology becomes used to this higher level of hormone.  After birth, the baby’s “normal” level of hormones is essentially lower than what he or she was used to and this child essentially has a deficiency that they can now have a problem with.

Overall, we need to accept that there are significant risks associated with antidepressant risk during pregnancy.  This needs to be fully explained to you by your OB so that you can make a truly informed decision. Anything less is malpractice.

What other drugs or exposures did you have concerns about during your pregnancy?

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.