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Can You Take Anxiety Medication While Pregnant

The Right Medication At The Right Dose

Can You Take Benzodiazepines While Pregnant?

Kimmel suspects that some women may not respond well to antidepressants, because they are not taking enough or not taking the right one. Due to changes in blood volume and metabolism during pregnancy, women already taking antidepressants may have to take a higher dose to maintain the same effect.

While she generally does not recommend benzodiazepines for pregnant women, she warns that abruptly halting them is not advised.

And she stresses that some medications come with more risks than others.

For instance, one recent study found that while paroxetine and fluoxetine were strongly linked to birth defects, including cardiac defects, sertraline was not.

âIf you do need medication, our objective is to use the right medication and the lowest effective dose to get you well,â she says.

Her advice to those mulling this tough question: âTalk to your doctor about it and keep talking with your doctor about it. Different decisions can be made at different times to be sure you are doing all you can for your mental health

Can Pregnancy Hormones Cause Anxiety

Hormonal changes during pregnancy may affect the chemicals in your brain, this can cause anxiety. Its important to note that anxiety is a natural part of pregnancy and many women experience it.

Nausea, bloating, exhaustion all symptoms of pregnancy can add up to increased levels of anxiety. Hormones also play a role in this heightened sense of worry.

One study found that pregnant women with higher levels of the hormone cortisol are more prone to experiencing depression and general feelings of anxiety. Some sources claim that theres no evidence linking hormones to mood changes during pregnancy, but its important to note that evidence is inconclusive on this topic.

The bottom line? If you find yourself feeling anxious or depressed for lengthy periods during your pregnancy, talk to your doctor about natural anxiety medications for pregnant women.

Risks Of Taking Anxiety Medication While Pregnant

Some of the most common risks and adverse effects associated with taking anxiety medications during pregnancy have already been covered. For example, taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy could lead to neonatal syndrome.

SSRIs may also put a newborn at an increased risk for pulmonary hypertension, though the risk is thought to be extremely low.

We mentioned earlier that taking a benzodiazepine while pregnant could possibly put a baby at risk for birth defects like a cleft palate. Additionally, taking benzodiazepines shortly before giving birth has been associated with floppy infant syndrome, which may involve hypothermia, lethargy, respiratory issues and feeding problems.

Also Check: Can Anxiety Feel Like Depression

Risks Of Taking Benzodiazepines While Pregnant

Taking benzodiazepines during pregnancy is associated with the same side effects of Xanax and risks to both mother and baby, but they can be prescribed safely with close monitoring by a healthcare professional.9 Untreated anxiety disorders, however, can also be harmful to mothers and babies, so any decision should involve weighing the risks and benefits with a psychiatrist who specializes in this area.

Some common risks for women taking benzodiazepines during pregnancy include:10

  • Cesarean section delivery

Some common risks for babies who get benzodiazepines in utero include:8,9

  • Premature birth
  • Floppy infant syndrome, a condition that involves weak muscle tone, lethargy, and feeding problems

Suffering From Depression While Carrying A Baby Find Out If Antidepressants Like Prozac Zoloft Lexapro And Wellbutrin Are Safe For Pregnancy

Medication for anxiety sertraline, medication for anxiety sertraline ...

Here’s a dirty little secret about pregnancy: It’s not always the magical experience that it’s made out to be. In fact, around 14%-23% of pregnant people experience depression during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists . The people in the study were recognized as women, but multiple gender identities have the ability to be both pregnant and experience depression. For some of them, that means a difficult choice: choosing to take antidepressants or avoiding medications “for the baby’s sake.”

“You always have to weigh the risk of medication against the risk of illness,” says Pec Indman, Ed.D, MFT, co-author of Beyond The Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. An expectant person’s depression can have a very real, negative effect on them and the baby. Read on to learn if antidepressantssuch as Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and Wellbutrinare safe for pregnancy.

Recommended Reading: How To Tell Your Doctor You Have Anxiety

Antiepileptic Therapy For Bipolar Disorder

Several antiepileptic drugs are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, including valproic acid , carbamazepine , and lamotrigine . However, data on the fetal effects of these drugs come primarily from studies of women with seizures. It is not clear whether the underlying pathology of epilepsy contributes to the teratogenic effect of these drugs on the fetus.

Exposure to valproic acid during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, craniofacial and cardiovascular anomalies, fetal growth restriction, and cognitive impairment. Carbamazepine exposure during pregnancy is associated with facial dysmorphism and fingernail hypoplasia. It is unclear whether carbamazepine use increases the risk of neural tube defects or developmental delay. Although these drugs are superior to lithium in the treatment of patients with mixed episodes or rapid cycling, they should be avoided during pregnancy.

The use of lamotrigine during pregnancy has not been associated with any major fetal anomalies and is an option for maintenance therapy in women with bipolar disorder.

Valproic acid use during lactation has been studied in 41 maternal-infant dyads only one infant was adversely affected with thrombocytopenia and anemia. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization consider valproic acid safe in breastfeeding women. Carbamazepine is ruled probably safe rare side effects include transient cholestatic hepatitis and hyperbilirubinemia.

Does Adhd Medication Cause Birth Defects

The study also found that women who took ADHD medicine during early pregnancy may be more likely to have a baby with some types of birth defects compared to women who did not take ADHD medicine. This is among the first few studies to look at ADHD medicine use among pregnant women and risk for individual birth defects.

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Impact Of Untreated Anxiety Disorder In Pregnancy

There are few data regarding the long-term risk to the fetus of untreated psychiatric illness during pregnancy. Overall, the clinical and laboratory data indicate that untreated maternal anxiety during pregnancy can cause lower infant birth weight, lower gestational age, altered Apgar scores, and impairment of fetal hemodynamics and fetal movement.3 In one study, anxiety symptoms early in pregnancy were associated with a 3-fold increase in preeclampsia.8 Rizzardo et al.8 reported an association between anxiety symptoms and premature rupture of the membranes, cervical dyskinesia, and incidence of cesarean section. Panic attacks during pregnancy can cause placental abruption, fetal distress, decreased nutrition, and use of potentially harmful substances for self-medication.9 Agoraphobia in addition to panic disorder is assumed to also impair prenatal care and adversely affect the outcome of pregnancy, although it has not been directly investigated.

Alternatives To Anxiety Medications While Pregnant

Anxiety Meds and Pregancy

When someone is pregnant and has anxiety, the general medical advice is to try other options for treatment before taking medications. This is true even if an anxiety medicine is considered to be probably safe. Some alternatives to anxiety medications while pregnant can include cognitive behavioral therapy or another type of non-drug therapy. Some people may benefit from alternatives like yoga, meditation or massage. Another option would be herbal therapy, although herbs and supplements can be unsafe during pregnancy, so they should also only be taken under medical supervision. If a doctor does determine that the risks of a pregnant womans anxiety being untreated are greater than the risks of medication, they will then work to find the right option. Since some options are safer than others, doctors may, for example, recommend an SSRI over a benzodiazepine. If youre currently using anxiety medication and youre pregnant, you shouldnt suddenly stop using it without speaking to your physician first.

If youre concerned about prescription drugs, or other substances you or a loved one may be taking, we encourage you to reach out to our team at The Recovery Village today.

Related: Taking Anxiety Medications During Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know

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Can My Antidepressant Medication Harm My Baby

What we understand about the risks to babies of mums who have taken antidepressants when pregnant/breastfeeding is based mostly on observational studies rather than experimental assessment. Therefore, it is hard to be certain if outcomes result from the medicines themselves or other factors in peoples lives. The information provided is based on the best evidence we have.

Antidepressants do pass through the placenta to the baby and studies looking at the risk of congenital heart problems have been reassuring in that the associations between the use of antidepressants and the risks of congenital heart defects in the baby are hard to find when other life factors are taken into account. There is no evidence that antidepressants increase rates of miscarriage, preterm birth or low birth weight. However there is evidence that untreated depression and anxiety can increase risks of preterm birth and caesarean section.

In order to exclude PPHN and to monitor any symptoms, we recommend that babies born to mothers who have been taking antidepressants in pregnancy are observed with their mothers on the postnatal ward for a minimum of 24 hours following delivery.

Can I breastfeed while taking antidepressants?

Where should I give birth if I am taking antidepressants?

List of Psychological Support Services

Wellbeing Therapies: Based at Southmead Hospital and outreach community groups, Self-referral

What Are Some Causes Of Anxiety During Pregnancy

Most women experience some anxiety during pregnancy, and just about any woman can develop a severe anxiety disorder during pregnancy. However, there are some risk factors that can put a woman at greater risk for developing severe anxiety during her pregnancy. These include:

  • A previous diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, panic attacks, or depression
  • A family history of mood disorders or panic attacks
  • Anxiety during a past pregnancy
  • Previous pregnancy loss or fertility struggles
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Stress at home or work
  • History of abuse or trauma
  • Stressful life events, like the death or illness of a loved one
  • Lack of a partner or social support during pregnancy
  • Relationship problems, including domestic violence

Recommended Reading: Can Anxiety Make You Physically Sick

Natural Anxiety Medications While Pregnant: What Can I Take For Anxiety During Pregnancy

Natural anxiety medications while pregnant are the best solution for women but are not something that you can pick up at the local grocery store. However, this does not mean that they cannot be used during pregnancy.

Pregnant women often struggle with anxiety due to the changes happening in their bodies and minds. They may feel like they have nowhere to turn, or they may fear that using medication in any form will have a negative impact on their child.

However, these fears are typically unfounded. If youre struggling with anxiety while pregnant, you may find natural remedies helpful in managing your symptoms without putting your child at risk.

Natural remedies for anxiety during pregnancy include meditation, yoga, and other activities that help reduce stress and keep cortisol levels low. Natural supplements for anxiety can also be helpful and are safer than many people think:

Contents

  • 12.2 How long does it take for St Johns Wort to help with anxiety?
  • Natural Remedies For Anxiety While Pregnant That Actually Work

    What medication can I take during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was anxious about everything. In those early weeks, it felt exhausting worrying about my baby in between appointments, desperate to hear the reassuring sound of her little heartbeat. I looked desperately for natural remedies for anxiety while pregnant, that would ease my mind.

    While anxiety can look a little different for everyone, if you are constantly worrying, your mind is racing, or you are struggling to eat or sleep normally, anxiety might be to blame. Here are some of the most helpful ways to deal with anxiety during pregnancy.

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    How Can You Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy is an exciting time. You will soon become a parent to an adorable, tiny human. You may expect to experience the rollercoaster of emotions during pregnancy, or emotions may catch you off guard. Some women feel joy at every flutter or kick, marveling at their changing bodies. For other women, pregnancy is hard, giving no reprieve as it brings severe fatigue, mood changes, and constant worries. You may notice that with every passing month, your thoughts are spiraling out of control, affecting your performance at work and your relationships at home. But how do you manage your anxiety, and should you treat it?

    How Long Does Anxiety Last In Pregnancy

    When pregnant, you may experience panic attacks or other forms of anxiety. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes while pregnant. Anxiety during pregnancy is one of the most common mental disorders.

    In fact, its estimated that up to 30 percent of pregnant women experience anxiety and as many as 10 percent suffer from an anxiety disorder during pregnancy. Its most commonly experienced in the first trimester, less so in the second trimester, and more so in the third trimester.

    Anxiety can be a severe condition that can actually cause panic attacks, depression, insomnia and lead to postpartum depression after birth. Many times its caused by a hormonal imbalance or stress triggered by outside forces like work-related pressure or family issues and can be exacerbated by frequent worry about what type of mother you will be.

    Its also often triggered by a fear of childbirth itself, which can lead to obsessive-compulsive thoughts about the negativity around labor and delivery. However, its important to remember that these feelings are completely normal for pregnant women, even if they are debilitating at times.

    If your feelings become too much for you or interfere with your daily life, you may want to speak with a medical professional about natural anxiety medications for pregnant women. More than likely, there are various types of medications available that will help reduce your symptoms without any harmful side effects for you or your baby.

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    What Anxiety Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy

    Antidepressants are commonly used to treat anxiety. Even though antidepressants are used for depression, some of them are often first-choice options for anxiety.

    There are many antidepressants available. Two of the most common classes of antidepressants used for anxiety in pregnancy are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors .

    Anxiety And Your Baby

    Is there an antidepressant that is safest to take while pregnant?

    Well-meaning friends may have told you that you need to stop worrying because it isnt good for the baby. While their sentiment comes from a good place, you may feel like stopping the cycle is easier said than done. Still, research shows that there is good reason to get your anxiety under control.

    High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a risk of developing conditions like preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight.

    Don’t Miss: What’s The Difference Between Panic Attacks And Anxiety Attacks

    Therapy For Anxiety In Pregnancy

    While it is a bit different from the other natural remedies for anxiety that weve shared, therapy is another great option to help you manage anxiety in pregnancy. If you havent been to therapy or counseling before, it may feel a bit intimidating, but the truth is everyone can benefit from therapy at some point or another in their lives. Just like going to the dentist or the doctor, going to a therapist is another way to be proactive about your whole-body health!

    Risks Vs Benefits Of Ativan

    American Family PhysicianAmerican Family Physician

    • A slack, floppy quality

    In a few cases, seizures have been reported in infants who were withdrawing from the effects of benzodiazepines, but these incidents are rare. Serious signs of Ativan toxicity are more common in babies whose mothers are heavy users of this drug. Women who take Ativan with alcohol, opiates, or street drugs during pregnancy increase the risk of complications with pregnancy, premature delivery, low birth weight, and birth defects even further.

    Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Anxiety At Night

    Data Sources And Study Selection

    This review provides an update on symptoms and diagnosis criteria for panic disorder and GAD and discusses the impact of untreated anxiety disorders on pregnancy as well as potential adverse effects of medication treatment, the pathophysiology of anxiety, and a treatment guideline for the prenatal care provider.

    An English-language electronic search of relevant studies using PubMed was performed using the search terms anxiety and pregnancy, maternal mental illness, panic and pregnancy, psychotropic medications in pregnancy, and treatment options in pregnancy. Review articles and primary pharmacologic treatment articles were selected for discussion.

    What Should I Do If I Have Anxiety In Pregnancy

    Currently taking a lot of medication (ADHD, Depression, Anxiety) and I ...

    Talk to your midwife or doctor if you:

    • feel anxious most of the time for more than two weeks
    • have anxiety that is making you feel physically ill with fast heartbeat, fast breathing, sweating, feeling faint, feeling sick and diarrhoea
    • have a panic attack/s
    • find yourself repeating an action to feel better.
    • are so afraid of giving birth that you dont want to go through with it
    • you are so afraid of blood tests that you avoid having them.

    Tell your midwife or GP if you have experienced anxiety before even if you arent feeling anxious right now. The more they know about your mental health history the better they can support you during your pregnancy.

    The midwife or doctor wont criticise you or judge you for having these feelings. They know this happens to many pregnant women, and they will focus on finding the right treatment to help you recover.

    If you find anxiety difficult to talk about, you could write down how you feel before your appointment or take someone with you for support.

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