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What are the risks of taking antidepressants during pregnancy?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Antidepressants are generally reserved for the treatment of serious depression during pregnancy. Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline have been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been linked to an increased risk for low birth weight and respiratory distress in the newborn. One SSRI drug, paroxetine (Paxil) has been linked to an increased risk for heart defects in the baby and is now a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) category D drug. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) has also been linked to an increased risk of miscarriages and heart defects.

Babies exposed to SSRIs and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors have been linked to the development of behavioral neonatal syndrome. Babies with this condition may be jittery and irritable, and have problems with feeding, sleeping, and breathing. In most cases, symptoms are mild and do not require specific treatment.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.