Posted by Deborah Pujoue on August 11, 2011
According to the FDA‘s recently-issued warning to patients taking Zyvox (an antibiotic) and antidepressants at the same time, it appears we can’t fight off an infection and depression simultaneously without the possibility of death looming. So pregnant women must be especially careful.
New information posted by the FDA claims that mixing the drug with antidepressants can cause reactions to the central nervous system that can potentially prove fatal. It has something to do with the combo increasing serotonin levels in the brain to lethal amounts. This could prove disastrous for pregnant women taking antidepressants. The FDA specifically mentioned the antidepressants Zoloft and Pristiq in their communication, which the drug regulators recommend patients stop taking temporarily if they need to take Zyvox. Zyvox can interact with these antidepressants, causing patients to suffer from a toxic reaction that is called “serotonin syndrome.” Serotonin syndrome occurs when the body experiences too much chemical build up in the brain. Deaths have been reported to the FDA’s adverse-event database.
If you are taking the combination of Zyvox and antidepressants, there are some symptoms that you should watch for: confusion, problems with your memory, hyperactivity, excessive sweating and twitching muscles. These can alert you to the possibility that you are suffering from too much serotonin levels in your system and you should seek medical attention.
The fear of mixing medications is just another consequence in a long list of adverse drug reactions for antidepressants. Zoloft and Pristiq, among other antidepressants, have already been proven to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs to combat depression and/or anxiety.
Pregnant women who are thinking about mixing these drugs should remember that studies have shown that when a pregnant woman takes an SSRI, her system is flooded with extra serotonin that travels through to the placenta and into the womb, causing the fetus to become soaked in excess serotonin as well. This is how some unborn babies develop various defects such as hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Cardiac defects, heart defects, PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn), neural tube defects (brain and spinal cord), craniosynostosis (skull defect), Infant omphalocele (abdominal wall defects), clubfoot, anal atresia and cleft lip/palate.
With that in mind, it just makes more sense that the combination drug warning by the FDA is far more dangerous for babies than in just taking the antidepressants. Pregnant women should adhere to the FDA warning and not risk it by mixing antidepressants with Zyvox. Give your body a med break if you need to fight off an infection with this drug. If your doctor recommends Zyvox antibiotic while you are taking Pristiq, Zoloft or any other antidepressant, you may want to bring this FDA warning to their attention.