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Lexipro (SSRI) and pregnancy

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  • Lexipro (SSRI) and pregnancy


    I was contacted by an expectant mother whose pregnancy was not planned. She is, by her estimate, about 8 weeks pregnant. She went to her HMO for first pregnancy appointment and was told she should titrate off the medication quickly. She had been taking 20mg until 2 weeks ago. She has been on antidepressants for 15 years, first because she had really bad cramps.

    She consulted her OBGYN who told her that since she's off it, she should stay off it or, because she's having severe reactions being off it, she should get back on it, since, if there's been any damage to the fetus, it's already been done. The doctor told her she would need to titrate off at the beginning of the 3rd trimester as well since there can be problems with the fetus experiencing withdrawl and respiratory issues, too.

    As she described it, she is depressed, is barely sleeping, nauseous all the time, feels sick and is agitated, like she can't stand being in her skin.

    I suggested that she consult an HMO psychiatrist who is knowledgeable about this medication while pregnant. We are trying to locate a person who fits the bill right now.

    Your advice and input would be highly welcomed.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Dear cald1905,
    It is up to her physician to make the final decision, however, our advice is that this mother should be treated. The adverse effects of not treating depression during any stage in pregnancy outweigh the possible risks to the fetus. Lexapro is a pregnancy category C drug. For more information on the use of this drug in pregnancy, call the infant risk center at (806)352-2519.
    Maria Milla, MD