Antidepressant Drugs That Can Be Taken During Pregnancy

Antidepressant Drugs That Can Be Taken During Pregnancy

As the name suggests, antidepressants are drugs taken to treat depression. They are ideal for you if you suffer from depression continuously. They will alleviate the symptoms of depression and make sure you feel good. But if you are pregnant, the whole scenario changes. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

You should know everything you can about depression, pregnancy, and antidepressants mainly because a number of antidepressants can be very harmful to the baby. Many doctors suggest that you don’t take antidepressants at all when you are pregnant but in some cases, it is needed. If yours is such a case, you should learn everything about antidepressants during pregnancy first and then make a decision to choose the safest antidepressant.

Pregnancy can worsen depression

Pregnancy can actually worsen your depression problems. Back in time, it was thought that pregnancy hormones relieved depression. Soon it became clear that it is actually the other way round.

Pregnancy can make you go through numerous emotions at a time and that can make things more difficult for you. While antidepressants can be harmful during pregnancy, not treating depression is also harmful. If you are depressed, you won’t be able to take care of yourself.

You won’t have the urge to eat well, sleep well, and seek prenatal care. Due to depression, you might start drinking alcohol and smoking. Such practices can affect your baby in a number of ways. They can either lead to miscarriage or they could cause birth defects in your baby. Bonding will also be a problem because you will also suffer with postpartum depression.

Risks and benefits of antidepressants

Whether you can take antidepressants during pregnancy or not depends upon the risks and the benefits associated. Taking antidepressants during pregnancy will only be recommended if the benefits outweigh the risks involved.

The risks include birth defects and bonding problems. There are, however, a few medications that have been proven to be safe. Only a few types of antidepressants have known to cause health problems.
Here are a few antidepressants that are safe to take during pregnancy.

Tricyclic antidepressants

This is a class of medicines that includes nortriptyline and amitriptyline. These are safe to use during pregnancy.


This medication is safe to take during pregnancy but it is not prescribed unless other medications fail. It can also be used for smoking cessation.

SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Know that all SSRIs are not safe. Only a FEW of them are safe such as sertraline, fluoxentine, and citalopram. Common brand names of these are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

Serious risks

The risks that antidepressants cause actually vary. A few studies showed that limb malformation might occur when tricyclic antidepressants were taken but the other studies proved this wrong. Lung problems in the newborn have been associated with SSRIs but again, the risks are not high and this problem usually occurs when the drugs are taken in the final trimester.

Which to avoid

Essentially, you should also know which antidepressants you must avoid. These include paroxetine, which is an SSRI. Brand names include Aropax, Paxil, Pexeva, Seroxat, and Sereupin. If you take this type of drug in the first trimester, your baby will suffer with heart defects. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors must also be avoided because they hinder fetal growth and alter blood pressure. These include Marplan, Nardil, Emsam, and Parnate.

All in all, there are many risks associated with antidepressants taken during pregnancy. You should ensure that you take them under doctor’s supervision and only after he gives the nod. If your depression is mild, it is advisable to wean yourself off of all antidepressants while you are pregnant.

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.