Prozac During Pregnancy

Prozac is the brand name of Fluoxetine which is among the group of Antidepressants called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). The dosage may increase the complications like depression etc. However, there are different types of SSRIs which vary in effects and the risks.

What Is Fluoxetine?

Fluoxetine or Prozac is a medication prescribed to treat depression and other Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Eating disorders (Bulimia Nervosa), Panic Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). It comes in different brand names like Prozac, Prozep, Prozil, Olena, and Sarafem and belongs to Antidepressants known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

The US Food and Drug Administration has put Fluoxetine under category C drugs which means that there is no evidence of its effects on the human population or the animals. Therefore it is vital to have the dosage after the doctor’s recommendation.

Symptoms Of Depression

  • Lack of energy
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of tension
  • Disinterest in relationships or daily activities
  • Changes in an appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempt
  • Irritability, anxiety, and guilt
  • Feeling sad or lost
  • Severe tiredness
  • Inability to remember things
  • Squeezing out of control

How Long Does Prozac Stay In The Body?

 

Every person reacts differently to the specific medications. In healthy adults, almost all of it is likely to go out of the body in a month after stopping the dosage. But according to the studies, the levels remain low after one or two weeks which comes under an active metabolic of fluoxetine called Norfluoxetine staying for 5-6 weeks in the body after the last dose.

Note: Always consult the doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.

Can It Affect The Fertility?  

Studies done on animals haven’t shown any sign of infertility due to Prozac. However further studies are required to determine its effects.

Does It Increases The Chances Of Miscarriage?

The studies haven’t found any chances of miscarriage.

Can Prozac Cause Congenital Disabilities?

None of the studies indicate any congenital disabilities after the usage in the first trimester.

Will Prozac Cause Withdrawal Symptoms In The Baby?

Taking Prozac during the third trimester can cause problems in the baby known as Neonatal Adaptation Syndrome (NAS). The symptoms may include crying, irritability, increased muscle tone, jitteriness, breathing problems, shivers, and trouble eating. In most cases, these remain mild and vanish within weeks without needing any treatment or supportive care while most babies may not get affected at all.

Dosage

The dosage depends on the age and the motive of the treatment.

The average dose for an adult starts with 20 mg a day which can increase if the symptoms lack the improvements. The maintenance dose begins from 20-60 mg a day while the maximum dose is 80 mg a day.

An adult using an oral capsule can take 90 mg capsule once a week to treat depression.

Note: Consult your doctor before consuming the medicine and following a particular dosage.

Withdrawal

  • Headaches
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Stomach cramps
  • Electric shocks in the head
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Brain Zaps
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Vertigo
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Confusion

Are There Any Other Problems In The Third Trimester?

It lacks the evidence. However, one study found that it increases the chances of premature delivery, neonatal care, and low birth weight in the third trimester. Women who stopped it by the end of the second trimester faced no problems at all. However, another study lacked the findings.

According to some studies, prematurity and several other complications may relate to the maternal depressive disorder other than the medication. One study showed that babies whose mothers took SSRIs during the second-half trimester had a slightly higher chance of Pulmonary Hypertension (a severe lung problem) however, the overall risk was low.

Should I Stop Taking Prozac?

It is essential to discuss any risks and benefits associated with Fluoxetine before the dosage. As per studies, if the depression misses the treatment, it may result in complications like miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, postpartum depression, and low birth weight

Will It Affect The Development And Behavior?

Prozac changes the chemical levels in the brain which may also affect fetal development. Some studies watched the growth from 16 months to 7 years of age and didn’t find any difference. According to One of these studies, the untreated depression may affect the IQ. However, more evidence is required to know the specific effects.

Can I Take It When Breastfeeding?

Norfloxacin and Fluoxetine are present in the breast milk. However, the amount that transfers to the baby is less than 10% of the total amount in the blood of the mother.

Several studies have found no problems when breastfeeding, but some instances reported irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of sleep. One study found a slight weight loss after having Prozac. However, it’s not a matter of concern.

Mothers who took it while breastfeeding showed no different results on the neurodevelopmental tests. More studies are missing proof of the long-term effects. Those less than two months of age might have a side-effect rather than older ones. See for any side-effects while breastfeeding and report to the pediatrician soon.

Risks

  • Increase in BP and Preeclampsia
  • Miscarriage depending upon the type of SSRI
  • Specific congenital disabilities like heart defects depending upon the nature of the medication
  • Minimal risk of high BP in babies born to mothers taking SSRI in the second half trimester.
  • Some temporary symptoms include irritability, problems in feeding, difficulty in sleeping, etc. However, the side-effects are not evident either in the baby’s bloodstream or withdrawal from the drugs after the birth.
  • It causes Premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome but lacks the evidence.

What If The Father Takes Prozac?

There are no studies as of now looking for risks in the father, but in general, the exposure may unlikely increase the dangers. Having major depression makes it difficult to cope up after the delivery however the severe side-effects are rare. It’s better to consult a doctor soon to treat such a condition as quickly as possible.

Side-Effects

The First Trimester (1-3 months)

Few studies are pinpointing the problems with Prozac in an early trimester. Women using the drug are not likely to develop the risk of malformations in the baby. However, there may be other risks like miscarriage and the heart defects due to high dosage.

Second and Third Trimester (4-9 months)

A slow growth rate can result from a case of depression which lacks the treatment. Prozac will become less effective due to the fast changes in the body needing an increase in the dosage. The high dosages can often lead to high BP in the third trimester requiring immediate medical intervention.

Delivery Time

  • Can result in SIDS, low birth weight, and premature baby
  • Taking the dosage after 20 weeks can develop persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) with breathing difficulties.
  • Prozac, just a week before the delivery, can cause discontinuation in 30% infants including irritability, crying, shivering and eating problems.

References

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x2343/is-it-safe-to-take-prozac-during-pregnancy

https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/fluoxetine-prozac-pregnancy/

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/fluoxetine-prozac-during-pregnancy_00372866/#gref

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