Last week a news story broke on how antidepressants may increase the risk of a brain bleed by 50%—it’s still a very small risk, but if you have a family history, concurrent medical condition, or other blood thinning medication, it’s nothing to sneeze at.
This week, antidepressants’ (SSRIs’) safety has been downgraded for pregnant women, with researchers saying they found an increase in the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, an increased risk of developing preeclampsia, as well as potential neurological effects on the future baby such as autism, congenital heart defects, and low birth weight.
For those with severe depression, taking antidepressants is the better option. But for those with mild to moderate depression, alternative treatment (lifestyle adjustments, from sleep to diet to meditation and yoga) may be something worth exploring. Antidepressants may even interfere with women’s ability to get pregnant (and struggling with infertility can be a source of depression).
It’s a serious issue—not only because of the increase in risks to the pregnancy, but because it’s important for women to receive treatment for depression symptoms, especially when they will have a child to care for. Undiagnosed postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety is far more serious than the risk of antidepressants, and researchers emphasize that women should seek professional help before weighing the risks of antidepressants and their pregnancy.
Never stop taking medication without first consulting your doctor.
How have you reacted to the ongoing negative news about antidepressants?