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Can I take medication for anxiety disorders if I am pregnant?

Anxiety disorders are more likely to affect women than men, and some women report anxiety disorders worsening during pregnancy. Unfortunately, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common antidepressant prescribed for anxiety disorders, can lead to pregnancy complications and birth defects. The FDA currently warns against use of this medication in the third trimester. Studies on SSRIs are inconclusive, and further long term research is needed.

If you are on medication and become pregnant, however, do not immediately discontinue use. Stopping medication without a gradual decrease can lead to serious health complications. If you are currently pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, talk to your mental health provider about treatment options. Cognitive behavior therapy may be sufficient to manage your symptoms.

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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.