Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Using Prozac During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most crucial decision-making times in a woman’s life. Decisions about what to eat, what to drink and what to do all can weigh heavily on the mom-to-be. One of the most difficult decisions that a pregnant woman has to make has to do with medications that she was taking prior to becoming pregnant. For pregnant women who were on antidepressants, such as Prozac, this decision is especially important, because the potential impact of depression on your pregnancy can be as bad or worse than the antidepressant medications that might be taken. Depression, for example, may lead to an increased risk of preterm delivery, low birthweight, preeclampsia, and even miscarriage.

Prozac, also known as Fluoxetine, raises two concerns in regard to pregnancy. The first concern is a concern about the possible risk of taking Prozac during the first trimester. The first trimester of pregnancy is a particularly important time in general, because a woman is at a greater risk of creating congenital anomalies or having a miscarriage by the things that she does during this time. Fortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that Prozac being taken during this stage of pregnancy creates any risk whatsoever in regard to miscarriage or congenital anomalies in the fetus. Studies have been extensive on this point and are very conclusive.

The second concern is the concern about the ongoing risk of Prozac being taken during the remainder of pregnancy. Here, the results of studies have not been quite as uniform. There is one study that does suggest some risk of having a premature or low-birthweight baby, as well as an increased risk of the baby having problems with breathing and with feeding. However, this particular study does have many critics, and there are at least two other studies that do not reach the same conclusions.

If you become pregnant while on Prozac, you should be certain to talk with your health care provider before making any changes to your medication regimen. In most cases, the risks of not taking Prozac will outweigh any real or perceived risks of taking the medication during pregnancy.

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