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Is it harmful for the unborn baby if I get pregnant while my husband is taking Citalopram?

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hello. We are planning a family. My husband has been on citalopram for 2 and a half months. I have heard the sperm count drops and the quality of the sperm worsens; but If I do fall pregnant to him, are there any chances of birth defects?
Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Getting Pregnant
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

It is true that Citalopram reduces the libido and may cause impotence in 2.3 % of the patients taking this drug. But chances of birth defects are extremely rare when your partner is taking the pill and not you.

First of all, Citalopram is excreted from the body via two routes: 12-13% if excreted as urine through the kidneys and 8% is excreted via the liver. So sperms and semen are not effected and hence there are less chances of passage of this drug through the semen.

Secondly, animal studies have shown teratogenic effects of this drug only if female pregnant animals were directly given this drug. There have been no reported effects seen during adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women even when they were given this drug directly. It was given to women only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In your case though as you are not taking this drug, the chances of teratogenic effects are almost nil. You can safely become pregnant. Just get regular ante natal checks ups and ultrasounds done during pregnancy.

Hope this answers your query.

If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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