Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pregnancy Antidepressants Choices

I talked yesterday about one of the new studies that provide us with one more piece of information about the issue of antidepressant use in pregnancy. Today I will review another study.

This was a small study involving only 59 pregnant women aged 19 to 45 years who were suffering from a clinical depression. Though small it was a prospective study following these women through pregnancy into the postpartum period. The subjects were divided into 3 groups: those continuing already prescribed medication, those that declined medication, and those who declined medication during pregnancy but started medication in the post partum period. 39 of the women continued taking medication, 20 declined medication, and 7 began antidepressants post partum. There were several findings.

The majority of women (77%) stayed on their medication because the fear of depressive relapse was greater than the fear of medication exposure. Most of these women with depression did worse during the third trimester regardless of whether or not they were taking any medication. In the group that declined medication anxiety became progressively worse as the pregnancy progressed and was worse in the post partum period. Regarding depression however there were no statistical differences in the women who did or did not take medication.

Overall the most robust findings were the increase in anxiety in those who did not take medication with anxiety being the worst in the third trimester and postpartum and the fact that most of the women did poorly in the third trimester whether or not they were taking antidepressants. The researchers opinion is that for those on antidepressants a dose increase should be considered during the third trimester.

Thought for the day

Who knows the mind of God?

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