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Does Duloxetine have any side effects on fetus?

Mar 2014
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Answered by
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 1390 Questions
Hi I have just found out I am 6 weeks pregnant. Living in Australia and I have been on the drug Duloxetine for roughly 6 months plus. I need to know the possible side effects and how likely they are to occur in a fetus of 6 weeks. Some family say it will be ok others say it will have massive disabilities. could you please help clarify? XXXXX
Posted Fri, 28 Mar 2014 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: Proper studies not available Detailed Answer: hello and welcome to health care magic, I understand your concern. Most of the antidepressant drugs belong to class C meaning that animal studies show risks to the baby but human data or research is not available. So they are recommended to be used only if the use is more beneficial than the risk posed to the baby. Having said this, most drugs cause toxicity in animal studies at very high doses that are generally not used in humans. The same holds true for Duloxetin. The exact effects in humans are not available but rat studies show that it caused toxicity at doses 7 times that of human. If used throughout the pregnancy it has been associated with low birth weight and decreased survival of rat pups in high doses. It has been associated with a few abnormalities like increased startle and decreased learning of body movements. So it is difficult to predict what will be the effect in baby as direct research is not available. In our experience, as the doses are kept to minimum, practically hardly any baby is affected. I just recommend that the dose be kept to a minimum and baby delivered at a well equipped unit. Any structural anomalies have not been reported but can be ruled out by a high level ultrasound scan at 20 weeks. Also genetic defects have not been reported, but if desired may be ruled out using amniocentesis. I hope this was helpful. I suggest you discuss this with your gynec as well as psychiatrist in consortium for optimal results. Hope this satisfies your query. Thanks for using HCM. Feel free to ask any more questions that you may have. Dr Madhuri Bagde Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist
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