Posted by The Vigilant Mom on April 15, 2011
Depression is a complicated illness to treat. It is likely that many people diagnosed with depression have struggled with treatment and medications for years, yet still have unresolved symptoms. Once someone does find a treatment that works, it may be extremely difficult for them to turn their back on that treatment, even for a pregnancy.
But when taking Pristiq for depression, it is advisable that a woman, especially in her third trimester, should discontinue use. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). SNRIs are part of the FDA’s pregnancy category C. In this category, drugs have not been part of a controlled human study and are recommended to “be given only if the potential benefits justifies the potential risk to the fetus,” according to the FDA.
So what are the potential risks? Infants who have been born to mothers who have used Pristiq in their third trimester have been found to develop withdrawal symptoms.These include feeding or breathing difficulties, seizures, apnea, muscle stiffness, hypotonia or constant crying. If you have taken Pritsiq while pregnant and notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, please notify your doctor immediately.
But if you are newly pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor. Consider the health of your unborn child before moving forward with your current treatment options. Have an honest and open conversation with your doctor to see what other treatment options are available that may combine education and therapy in lieu of Pristiq to avoid possible Pristiq birth defects.
Pristiq is also excreted in human milk, so again consider the benefits of Pristiq and the benefits of breastfeeding and make an informed decision.
Motherhood can bring a whole new perspective. Go into this with an open mind and open heart and you may be able to sacrifice your treatment of Pristiq for your future child’s heath.