Posted by Claudia Grazioso on January 16, 2012
OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, can be a debilitating illness that wreaks havoc in the lives of those who have it and the people who love and live with them. Characterized by obsessive intrusive thoughts which then are followed by compulsive behavior to try to allay those fears, this panic disorder is a tough one to kick. And, sadly, it frequently can come on during pregnancy, leaving the expectant mother with a heavy burden to bear.
One of the drugs used to treat OCD effectively is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) called fluvoxamine. Frequently this drug is marketed under the name Luvox and it is also commonly prescribed to treat Social Anxiety Disorder. While it’s important to get relief from OCD or Social Anxiety Disorder, before you take Luvox while pregnant, there are some things you should consider.
Like many SSRI drugs, fluvoxamine has been given a Category C pregnancy rating by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that while no controlled studies have been done on pregnant humans, fluvoxamine has been found to cause some problems in pregnant rats used in animal-based studies. Pups who have been exposed in utero to fluvoxamine experienced higher rates of miscarriage, low birth weight and eye defects. Some studies have also linked fluvoxamine to an increase in lung and respiratory problems, especially when taken in the third trimester of pregnancy. There also have been reports of infants who have been exposed to fluvoxamine suffering a range of maladies that span from seemingly harmless things like increased irritability to more scary complications like seizures. Finally, fluvoxamine has been found to pass into breast milk in large amounts, and many doctors recommend that new mothers refrain from nursing their child if they are taking fluvoxamine.
OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder are difficult disorders to live with — and certainly unchecked, they can be perilous to pregnant women on their own. If you suffer from one of these disorders, do not simply stop taking your medication if you become pregnant. Talk to your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of medication, and make a choice that you feel comfortable with.