Anxiety & Meds during pregnancy

Nicole - posted on 05/14/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I am wondering if anyone suffers from anxiety and is currently on medications or if you have been on medications during a previous pregnancy. My anxiety has gotten worse and I was on Celexa and Xanax before my pregnancy. I am worried about side effects and if it will harm my baby but I want to keep my sanity the last 14 weeks of pregnancy. I am 26 1/2 weeks right now. Any advice is greatly appreciated :)

Nicole

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Megan - posted on 05/15/2010

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I, too, suffer from anxiety (well, anxiety disorder) which I take Zoloft for. The doctor said I had to stop taking it at the last trimester, which I did. It wasn't bad, though, for some reason, I guess I was just preoccupied with being so huge that the anxiety didn't get to me that bad. I know Xanax is bad to take while you're pregnant, though. Not sure about the other one.

Abby Lynn - posted on 08/30/2013

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I'm trying to conceive and have been suffering from anxiety for about 5 years. I was on lorazepam and citalopram for about 2 years but stopped when I starting to try getting pregnant. I still have anxiety and am thinking about asking my doctor if there is anything else I can so to help my anxiety. I have tries yoga and breathing but it doesn't help me too much. Anyone have any suggestions?

Myra - posted on 05/15/2010

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I have anxiety...LOTS of anxiety. With my first daughter, I was on three different meds at the same time up until I was about 30 weeks along. One for depression and anxiety, one for psychosis/nightmares and terrors, and one for mood stabilization. For me, the meds weren't helping (my problems were because of previous traumas, not chemical levels), and I just stopped taking them...been off ever since. You may want to ask them about Lamictal. It is a mood stabilizer used in bi-polar and other types of depression. But if you've been through the treatment thing for a while, you know that a lot of the meds used for other things are also used for anxiety. One of the reasons I was put on it and not another drug was because I had told my doctor I was actively trying to get pregnant. They said it is apparently completely safe throughout pregnancy from all their research. Buspar is a class B antianxiety drug, and is also considered safe in pregnancy.

You might want to go to this link (http://www.drugs.com/search.php?searchte...). I did a search for antianxiety medications. If you click on the drug and scroll down, there is a specific rating for use in pregnancy with most of the drugs. You would want to keep it an A or B if possible when used in the last trimester. Class C drugs can pose some risks to the fetus, but they aren't set in stone that the baby could have problems. Stay away from anything below a class C in pregnancy.

Andrea - posted on 05/15/2010

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I have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. I was on Celexa my entire pregnancy. My doctor and I felt the benefits outweighed the risks to my twins. My sister had post partum psychosis after her first baby and went on Celexa. She took it through her second pregnancy and didn't suffer from post partum depression or psychosis.

Iridescent - posted on 05/15/2010

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Erin, there are a lot of issues that a doctor should be contacted. She has already been referred to and is obviously seeing a doctor. She requested advice on a different level based on experiences and drug facts that she did not receive from the doctor. In addition, each doctor you talk to will have opinions different from another in some issues, including medications. Also, professionals are not all doctors. Some are nurses, pharmacologists, psychiatrists, chemical engineers... I happen to be an RN. I am a professional. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be, but do have experience in this area. So stating "this is something that ONLY a professional should be responding to" is a bit out of line.

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JenJen - posted on 02/27/2014

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I suffer from Major depressive disorder and anxiety. I finally found a medication that calms me "klonopin" I am now 6.5 weeks pregnant and have been off of it since I started trying to conceive because my OB said it was un-safe. I am DYING now, dizzy, heart palpatations, hyperventilating, and light headed because my anxiety is so bad. I don't want a baby with birth defects because I was weak but I can't take this. Im wondering what is safe. He said most SSRI inhibitors aren't safe during pregnancy

Erin - posted on 05/15/2010

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i think that this is something you should really talk to your doctor about... this is something that ONLY a professional should be responding too.....

Nicole - posted on 05/15/2010

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Amy, Im sorry to hear about your experience with anxiety and depression. It is such a hard thing to deal with. WIth my first, I was fine and didn't have any problems. With my second, I wasn't even on meds before I got pregnant because I could deal with the panic attacks and depression through prayer and positive thinking. Then I got ppd and stayed on the meds for two years after I had her. I stopped them all when I found out I was pregnant with this one and have felt pretty good up until now. I think its mostly situational due to my uncle getting really sick and dying. And with the pregnancy getting down to the last 3 months, i just start worrying about having a toddler and a baby. Normal stuff like that, that effects people like us different. My hubby is like just dont be anxious. HAHAHA Yeah, right. If people only knew what its like. Don't they know its a chemical imbalance and not something we can turn on and off? Thanks for talking with me. It makes me feel better to be able to have people to relate to. I hope that all the complications have resolved themselves with your last pregnancy. I have Crohn's disease so I have to worrry about complications from that on top of the anxiety stuff. :( Take care!

Iridescent - posted on 05/15/2010

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You're welcome. I have pretty major depression which developed into bipolar disorder, and also get major anxiety attacks. With my first I went without any meds at all. My second, I stayed on Zoloft the whole pregnancy and it was fine, and I most certainly needed it. I got bad PPD with both of them. Prior to getting pregnant with my third we had changed my meds a bit and I was on Zoloft, Lamictal and Xanax. I was needing the Xanax a lot at first (several times per day). Once I found out I was pregnant I stopped taking the Xanax and tapered off the Lamictal, then the Zoloft. It was a very good thing I did, too, because when she was born there were complications and the doctors thought initially they were due to the medications, but they had been clear from my system for the bulk of the pregnancy. The complications they were seeing were not possible from the medications based on when I stopped using them. I expected PPD with my third so went back on the Zoloft for a bit, and it wasn't nearly as bad as with the others.

Nicole - posted on 05/15/2010

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Thanks Amy for those links. That is basically what I've read too. I don't want to take anything unless absolutely necessary. I have taken 3 xanax pills the whole time I've been pregnant because I was having bad panic attacks. But I don't want to take anymore. After my last baby, I got post partum depression really bad and finally when she was four months, I started medications. I stopped breastfeeding even though most of them said it was okay to keep taking those meds and breastfeed. I dont believe them because who knows if ten years down the road, something will come up that it causes long term problems. I'm hoping I don't have it again with this one but I want to be stable for my child and do what's right, even if it means not breastfeeding. Thanks for your help!

Iridescent - posted on 05/15/2010

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Xanax is terrible for birth defects. The doctor in the previous post that stated nothing has been proven either lied or was misunderstood.

http://anxiety.emedtv.com/xanax/xanax-an...

Celexa
http://depression.emedtv.com/celexa/cele...

You can look up any medication to find what studies have been completed in humans, what the results were in their animal testing, and if completed in pregnant women what the results were. Xanax has completed human testing and is proven unsafe. Many of the others have not completed human testing during pregnancy, but they have all completed animal testing and pregnancy ratings are based on the animal testing at that point.

Nicole - posted on 05/15/2010

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Thanks Megan and Danielle. I haven't been on anything since I found out. Im trying to manage it by staying busy and keeping my mind occupied. But I've had some really bad stressors lately. My uncle died today and that has been very hard on my family and it's the first death I've had to deal with. So, its been hard. I'm gonna try to stay off of them because from what I've read, being on meds the last trimester can cause some heart and lung problems because the baby becomes addicted to them and they can have withdrawals and stuff. So, I'm just praying I can stay "sane". Thanks!

Danielle - posted on 05/15/2010

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My doctor says that there hasn't been anything proven that these types of medications can hurt your baby but that generally he has women discontinue use of them unless they suffer from severe depression or anxiety. If you're going to end up going crazy (for lack of a better word) without your medication then stay on them. Your doctor will let you know which risk is greater for you...being on the medication or being off of it.

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