Zoloft and Pregnancy
Though medical professionals can provide some information on the subject, much is unknown about Zoloft and pregnancy. The federal Food and Drug Administration categorizes this anti-depressant prescription drug in the pregnancy Category C. This label means that it is possible animal studies have indicated fetal harm from maternal use of the drug, but human trials have not unequivocally shown that the risks of using Zoloft during pregnancy outweigh the drug's intended benefits. Medical experts do know that Zoloft is transferred to a fetus or baby through both the placenta and breast milk.
Zoloft and pregnancy studies have not shown any increased difficulty in becoming pregnant while taking Zoloft, as compared to the general population. Zoloft and pregnancy studies have also not found any evidence that maternal Zoloft use during pregnancy causes an increased likelihood of serious birth defects.
Some Zoloft and pregnancy studies have shown that maternal use of Zoloft during the third trimester of pregnancy poses some risk to the health of newborn babies. Babies who are born to mothers who used Zoloft in the third trimester are more likely to require special care nursery attention for problems like low blood sugar, jitteriness, and respiratory problems. Babies whose mothers took Zoloft during the third trimester are also more likely to be born prematurely.
In one Zoloft and pregnancy case, a mother had taken the maximum dose of Zoloft regularly during the third trimester of her pregnancy. Her child was born with a condition called nystagmus, which causes rapid involuntary oscillatory movement in the eyeballs. This condition resolved on its own within three days of delivery.
Zoloft and pregnancy studies do give some indication that a baby can suffer withdrawal symptoms when they no longer receive Zoloft through the placenta or breast milk. These babies experience the following withdrawal symptoms that usually last for a few days: increased agitation, constant crying, poor feeding behaviors, and insomnia. This effect of Zoloft and pregnancy has been experienced in some cases where the baby was no longer receiving Zoloft-containing fluids from the mother.
When a patient considers the benefits and risks associated with Zoloft and pregnancy, it is important that she speak to her doctor before making any changes or stops to her treatment. Zoloft and pregnancy decisions should be made on a case by case basis. A patient and her doctor will want to discuss her full medical history, current conditions, and all other pertinent facts before deciding to continue or discontinue Zoloft treatment because of pregnancy or breastfeeding. Only a patient and doctor can determine whether the risks associated with taking Zoloft while pregnant or breastfeeding outweigh the potential benefits of treatment.
If you are concerned about Zoloft and pregnancy, you may wish to speak to a medical professional. If you are taking Zoloft during pregnancy or breastfeeding your doctor may want to monitor your condition and the condition of your baby accordingly.
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