G.B. asks from Saint Louis, MO on May 24, 2009
Paxil and Pregnancy??
Hi Ladies! I have been on Paxil since being diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression in 1998. I took it (30mg) during my 1st pregnancy (this was before all the warnings came out) and he is now a perfect 6 year old. No side effects whatsoever. However, hubby and I would like to try for baby #2 and not getting any support from my OB/GYN. She refuses to help us get pregnant or treat me during my pregnancy if I continue taking the paxil.
I have talked to my psychologist (2 of them in fact!) and he said me staying on a low dose is much better than me quiting completly. He also told me the side effects of taking paxil during pregnancy are rare, but they must be reported. My PCP and I have reduced my dosage down to 15mg and I feel this is the lowest dose I can take and still function on because I was having horrible side effects taking 10mg a day. I know it's best not to take any meds while pregnant, but was wondering if anyone did take depression meds and still did okay?? I am very stressed and worried because paxil is the only thing that has helped keep the panic attacks and depression at bay. I have been on so many other meds with bad experiences so switching to another med is not really something I am interested in.
So I guess my question is has anyone taken paxil during pregnancy? Also, can anyone suggest a new OB/GYN that might be a litle more supportive? I would like one who is willing to work with my PCP and psychologist to make this the best experience possible for me and the baby.
Thank you so much for your help!!
K.A. answers from St. Louis on May 25, 2009
I googled this topic and this is one of the first web sites that came up. It said that Paxil was the only SSRI that should not be taken at all during pregnancy due to a higher risk of birth defects. www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-take-antidepressants... (I am guessing this is why your doctor reacted the way that she did, as she is worried about her liability.) It recommended Zoloft as an alternative, but sounds like you have not had good luck with other antidepressants so far. I would find an OB/GYN that is willing to support your mental health first, as well you having a healthy baby. Maybe there is an SSRI that would be safer that you have not tried yet?
Good-luck. I am glad you are taking this seriously, as a mother's well being must always come first so that she can be the best loving mother possible!
E.W. answers from St. Louis on May 25, 2009
I would call Dr. Baumann at SSM Women's Center. He delivers at Saint Mary's and the new St. Clare Hospital. I don't know how he would be about depression meds during pregnancy, but he was very open to working with me in general and I felt like he listened and was then pretty rational. He was a serious OB, but laid back too.
H.S. answers from St. Louis on May 25, 2009
When I was thinking about getting pregnant I was on Zoloft and my Dr recommended I stay on it. My sister told me that with pregnancy her hormones had really helped her and she had gone off of it b/c of fertility treatments she had to take. I was on a very low dose and chose to try to go off of it and I ended up being fine.
I am not sure what your whole situation is, but I have been told by several people that they stayed on their Xanax or antidepressant without any problems. I do not think they required fertility, though.
I guess my advice is to go back to your OB and find out what her concerns are....if she cannot give you a straight answer and adverse effects then go to a different OB for another opinion. There are people in this world that do not understand mental illness and hormonal imbalances that cause mental illness. Make sure when you make the appointment that the receptionist knows you want a block of time that is enough to discuss this issue with the OB....so they do not give you 15 minutes and then your Dr. is not prepared or clock watching.
A.S. answers from St. Louis on May 25, 2009
I took 20-30mg of Paxil through both of my pregnancies and I have two perfect boys. Eric is almost 3 1/2 and Jacob is 8 months.
I was told that I should weigh the effects of staying on the Paxil through the pregnancies against going off of them through the pregnancies. Like you, I KNEW I could not function at all without the meds.
A few studies came out during my first pregnancy and I freaked out thinking I had done something to my baby by staying on the Paxil. He was born via C-section because he was breech. (My fluid was a little down around him and he was unable to turn.)
For my second pregnancy I took 30mg every morning with my prenatal med. The worry was in the back of my head but I knew it was the best thing for me. Jacob was born via elective C-section because I chose not to do a V-bac and I knew I was getting my tubes tied with his birth.
I had wonderful and fairly normal pregnancies with Dr. Beth Gearhart. Love her and would recommend her to anyone! :)
Would love to chat more if you want to send me a message. :)
T.F. answers from St. Louis on May 25, 2009
I took Cymbalta during the first half of my pregnancy. It made me violently ill to the point that I doubt very much of it even got into my system. What I learned, though, was that generally the older the antidepressant (and Paxil has been out quite awhile) the better off you are, because there's been more time for side effects to surface and be investigated. I don't think it was wise for me to go without antidepressants for the second half of my pregnancy. I began taking Zoloft the day I gave birth, and nursed my daughter for a year while taking it. (My doctor told me that Zoloft is one of the safest for pregnancy and nursing.)
Getting an OB/GYN who takes treating your depression seriously is important. I go to Dr. Mark Pelikan in Overland, who is a family practice physician who treats our entire family. He has been very good at working with me on my depression. Keep looking, and find someone who takes you and your concerns seriously. Hang in there!