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Ther Umsch. 2005 Jan;62(1):17-22.

[Antidepressants and pregnancy].

[Article in German]

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Universit├Ąts-Frauenklinik, Basel.


Depressive disorders in women are not uncommon during the reproductive period. Identifying women at risk for the development of depression, early detection of depressive symptoms and an adequate treatment are important issues in preventing severe chronic depressive disorders. Do psychotherapeutic interventions not show any sufficient benefits, the use of antidepressants is indicated. In the meantime sufficient data are available concerning the use of anti-depressants during pregnancy to exclude any serious damage to the fetus or newborn. As a basic principle, a monotherapy should be favoured and the drug applicated in the lowest efficient dose. Due to the SSRI's side effect profile the choice of the antidepressant should be done in favour of serotonin reuptake inhibitors rather than tri- and tetracyclic antidepressants. For both substance groups there is no hint for any teratogenic potential. Benzodiazepine should be prescribed with caution. Negative long term effects to the newborn cannot be excluded. Based on few available data, indeed, there exists no reservation against the use of St. John's wort during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A profound ultrasound screening of the organs should be performed in case of lithium exposition, whereas newer studies showed no increase in risk for Ebstein anomaly. A multidisciplinary approach, including psychiatry, obstetrics and neonatology should be always aimed at in case of depressive disorders during pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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