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Taking 50 mg zoloft for mild anxiety and depression. Is it safe to try for pregnancy?

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I am currently taking 50 mg of generic zoloft for mild anxiety and depression. This medicine has helped me a lot. My husband and I are currently trying to get pregnant, and I have been continuing my medicine. I didn't even think ask my doctor if this was OK. I will be able to test for pregnancy in about a week (I am currently 4 days past ovulation) and am wondering if I should continue to take my meds. In your opinion, is zoloft safe during pregnancy or will my doctor suggest that I quit taking it?
Posted Sun, 18 Nov 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 2 hours later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing to us.

A decision to use antidepressants like zoloft during pregnancy is based on the balance between risks and benefits.

Overall, the risk of birth defects and other problems in the baby after using zoloft during pregnancy is low.

It is considered among the safe antidepressants in pregnancy.

Mild depression can be managed with psychotherapy, including counseling or other therapies.
If your depression is severe or you have a recent history of depression, the risk of relapse might be greater than the risks associated with antidepressants.

The risks and benefits of taking medication during pregnancy must be weighed carefully. This can be done best by your psychiatrist.

With use of antidepressants throughout pregnancy or during the last trimester, your baby might experience temporary discontinuation symptoms such as jitters or irritability at birth.
Also some studies have shown lung problems like persistent pulmonary hypertension as well as heart defects in the newborn of mothers using zoloft.
However these side effects are not yet 100% proved.

Besides there are many emotional problems associated in pregnancy due to fluctuating hormones. Stopping your antidepressant might precipitate depression attacks and emotional liability.

So do not stop the medication abruptly.
If required, the dose has to be tapered gradually and then stopped completely to avoid sudden withdrawal symptoms like fever, chills, fatigue, nausea , irritability and anxiety.
Consult your psychiatrist for evaluation of your severity of depression. If he feels you can do well without the drug, the best would be to avoid it.

Take care.

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