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18 Mar 2003

Zoloft and Pregnancy
Hi doc

Can one take Zoloft while being pregnant? Also what are its side effects will there be any complications with my preganancy?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear heita,
Firstly, this is a question you need to ask the doctor who prescribed the drug ( indeed, to ask ANY doctor who prescribes ANY drug during pregnancy ) --- it's his job to explain this i detail until you are satisfied, and he has been paid to do so. As he knows the particulars of your situation, and made the decision, he is in a better position to discuss the issue than anyone else ; and he would have responsibility for any ill-effects or other consequences. Many doctors would prefer to avoid most drugs during pregnancy, just to be as safe as possible. But in fact we have to weight, on the one hand the likelihood and seriousness of any possible ill-effects of a drug taken during pregnancy, with, on the other hand, the likelihood and risks of allowing the condition for which the drug is to be used, to remain untreated during pregnancy.
Drug companies hesitate to recommend the use of any of their drugs in pregnancy, for fear of law-suits not only arising rom any possible ill-effects of the drug, but also of law-suits arising from any of the unfortunate events that may turn up in any pregnancy, unlrelated to the use of their drug, but which might get blamed on it.
Some experts would prefer, unless your degree of depression was severe and threatening in its own right, to avoid using antidepressants during pregnancy, especially during the earliest months. Counselling can help a good deal, especially the CBT variety I've been recommending, without any risks at all.
Other specialists would argue that there is litle evidence of any real likelihood of any significant harm to the baby or the pregnancy, so that it would be considered safe to use a drug like Zoloft during pregnancy.
Your own doctor is the on who had the absolute responsibility to weigh all these considerations, and take the decision that is best for you and your baby --- and it was and is his /her responsibility to explain in full to you the decision he made, and the reasons for it.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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