Citalopram and pregnancy

Hi everyone

Sorry to gatecrash - I'm not currently pregnant, not even TTC at the moment actually as just had 3rd mc and waiting for test results, but was wondering if anyone can help me.

I've suffered from anxiety and depression for many, many years and used to be on anti-depressants but worked so hard to come off them at the beginning of 2008 ready for TTC. However, since the 3rd mc I've become very anxious and depressed again. Saw my doctor this morning and she's prescribed me 20mg Citalopram with a view to staying on it whilst TTC and pregnant again. She thinks I will be much better off on an anti-depressant in the early parts of pregnancy than not after everything that's happened - I can't help but be scared and worried after loosing 3 babies, no matter how hard I try to stay positive.

Anyway, obviously there isn't a whole lot of research into pregnancy and anti-depressants (in humans anyway!) so I'm wondering if anyone has been on this whilst pregnant and what their experiences are? My doctor deffinitely thinks I need to be on it and it outweighs any possible, minimal risk by a long way but I am still anxious you know? (yes, I worry about EVERYTHING!). From what I've read on Internet this afternoon it's ok but you should try and avoid it in 3rd trimester to avoid poor neonatal adaptation syndrome.

Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks, NN xx


  • Hi sorry to hear about the mc.
    Ive been on anti depressants for over 2 years and was taking citalopram when i found out i was pregnant. One doctor advised me to come off it straight away as he claimed there was a risk to the baby. However i didnt manage very long without them and once i got past 12 weeks i saw another gp who said the benefits of antidepressants would outweigh the risks in my case. She changed me from citalopram to fluoxitine(prozac) as she said the prozac is better suited in pregnancy but once baby is past 12 weeks there is very little risk.
    Im now 32 weeks and everything has been fine with baby so far and the midwives or docs havnt said anything about stopping it since, the doc did mention can baby can show show very small signs of addiction but again they look at individual circumstances and in my case ive been advised to keep taking them. Good luck with everything
  • Hi
    sorry i can't help u but i didn't want to r & r.

    i'm so sorry for ur loss, but maybe doc is right if u stay happier and positive while TTC it might help u.

    hope all goes well for u.

  • Thank you Lou for sharing your story with me. Good luck for the birth! Is this your first? Can I ask if you were consultant led because of being on AD's?

    Cha - thank you for your kind message. My doctor has said that it wasn't anxiety that caused me to loose 3 babies but it can't hurt to feel happier and more relaxed surely!?

    Thank you both, NN xx
  • Hi,
    Sorry to hear about your mc.
    I suffer from bipolar and anxiety and i take citalopram-i am 10 weeks pregnant. My team discussed the pro's and con's with me when i told them that i wanted to start ttc and everyone involved thought i should stay on it. I have been told that the risks are minimal and the risk of me becoming depressed again poses more of a threat to my baby than the citalopram. Hope this helps.
  • Hi nic

    Thank you so much for sharing with me. It makes me feel more at ease knowing others have been told the same thing. Not that I don't trust my doctor! It's just nice to chat to others who have been/are in the same situation.

    And congratulations on your pregnancy!

    Take care, NN xx
  • Hi Natty Nik

    I also suffer with an eating disorder. I suffered a molar pregnancy in December 2007/January 2008 and was put on Citalopram (I'd been on it before).

    I stayed on it until I was 12 weeks pregnant and then the amount got reduced until I completely stopped it around 14-16 weeks.

    My psychiatrist is very very good (she's from Isham House, if you've heard of it?) ensured that it was safe for me to take while pregnant and gave me all the information she had on it.

    They recommend that you only use it until the second trimester and they will not allow you to be on it when you give birth as they like to 'wean' the baby off of it before it is born.

    Hope this helps xx
  • I was prescribed it in my last pregnancy, I was advised it was completely safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, however, I didn't get on with the drug.
    I've since started prozac (fluoxetine) which is working wonders for me, and then I discovered I'm pregnant.
    I went for a drug review yesterday and was told that its safe when the risks are far outweighed by the benefits (as in my case) however, there is a chance the baby would suffer withdrawal.
    I intend to breastfeed, and so my doctor has advised me to wean off them around the 7/8 month mark and if I need help postnatally, they will give me something better suited to breastfeeding.

    I was advised that I will more than likely need to remain on antidepressants, as I've suffered on and off for my whole adult life. My doc thinks its genetic in my case.
  • Hi nik yeah this is my first one.
    No im not under consultant care but i have have loads of problems with midwifes-mainly never seeing the same one, never able to get in contact with them and them never telling me anything!! When i went for booking in they never even mentioned my anti depressants it wasnt until later on but to be honest they never even ask how i am getting on anyway. I do see my Gp regulary but the midwives dont seem interested! I know this isnt the case everywhere though and different areas do things differently x
  • hi there,

    i've also suffered from years of depression and anxiety & at the beginning of my pregnancy I was been prescribed Mirtazapine & Diazepam. I managed to come off the Mirtazapine, as felt that I could do without it, but stayed on the Diazepam as my doctor/psychiatrist agreed that the benefits did outweigh the risks.

    I'm 40+3 today & have had lots of extra monitoring during this pregnancy but touchwood everything has been fine so far & have managed to get myself down to a minimal dose of 1mg of Diazepam per day now. I have been told that the baby will be monitored immediately after birth, but that is just standard procedure for anyone taking ongoing medication. I have been lucky because also see my consultant once a month to see how i'm getting on.

    I think you just need to do what is right for you, obviously speaking to your doctor etc. I personally found it very difficult coming off Anti depressants at 15 weeks & became quite depressed, coupled with crazy hormone-induced mood swings. The best you can do is work you way gradually down to a lower dose because coming off any drug suddenly would not be good for you or the baby.

    I have to admit that there are times where I worry so much about the effects that the medication may have on the baby, and I feel incredibly guilty. however, my consultant has told me that there is always that small chance or something going wrong even in perfectly healthy mothers - and your mental wellbeing is very important in ensuring a healthy & happy pregnancy!

    Good luck xxx

    [Modified by: fee_k on January 31, 2009 04:22 PM]

  • Donna - thank you for your reply. Sorry to hear about your molar pregnancy. I am a recovered anorexic - did you find that the Citalopram helped with your eating disorder or had no effect? I do still worry about slipping back into anorexia especially right now with feeling so anxious and having no appetite and loosing weight. I really want to make sure it doesn't come back. It's the last thing I need right now!

    Bex - thanks for sharing your story with me. If you don't mind me asking how did the Citalopram not agree with you? I know it's very early days for me because I've only been taking it for 2 days but I feel awful! My anxiety and panic attacks have gotten even worse and last night I was shaking uncontrollably. My GP did say to expect the anxiety to worsen for a few weeks while your body gets used to it, but I sure hope it doesn't last long. Not sure how much longer I can take this! As if I don't have enough anxiety already!

    Lou - sorry you had so many problems with your midwifes.The first time I was pregnant my GP had a really long chat to my midwife about all my problems and she was really understanding. In this last pregnancy the MW had booked an early appointment with me just to chat and lessen my anxiety but unfortunately I mc'ed before then. But she seems lovely and caring.

    Fee - thanks for your reply. That's interesting about the diazipam because I am also prescribed that for panic attacks on an 'as I need' basis and was wondering if it'd be safe in pregnancy but hadn't asked yet as it's not an immediate concern. But I too feel SO guilty and I'm not even pregnanct yet! But like everyone has said being over anxious and depressed won't be good for the baby either and they wouldn't allow you on it if they had no idea about it's safety.

    Thanks everyone. xxx

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