The Hemp Connection + [tips]

Antidepressants and your developing baby

Knowing that PCOS often goes unrecognized, and that PCOS research often overlooks some of the most important issues cysters deal with, I'm trying to bring research to this blog you may not find if you're using"PCOS" as your search term but which may be entirely pertinent. In this case, I want to talk about antidepressants, which are very commonly prescribed in PCOS, whether it's officially diagnosed or unrecognized.

This study was conducted because of the number of women who use antidepressants. That increases the possibility that a woman may, intentionally or not, become pregnant while taking antidepressant medications. The researchers wanted to know if fetal exposure to antidepressants may influence brain and nervous system development. This particular study was done with mice, but it was previously determined that mice and humans demonstrate similar mother-fetal transfer with the medications being evaluated.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) had a lower rate of transfer than did fluoxetine (Prozac). More offspring died in the group using fluoxetine, and most of these deaths were due to heart failure related to cardiac defects. The researchers reported no deaths related to fluvoxamine.

In addition, the part of the brain that distributes serotonin to the rest of the brain, the raphe nucleus, did not function properly in the brains of rat pups whose mothers had been exposed to fluoxetine. Behaviorally, these rats exhibited more anxiety- and depression-related behaviors as adults than rats who had not been exposed.

So it seems that babies of moms who have depression may be set up to have the same problems when they become adults. Some of that may be genetic, but some of it may be perpetuated by the way the mother's biochemistry is treated by her caregivers.

Bottom line, if you're using antidepressants, even if you're NOT trying to become pregnant but you MIGHT become pregnant because you're sexually active, you may want to be sure that you discuss this with your physician and determine which treatment option is most appropriate.

Don't forget diet and fish oil--they can eliminate the need in many cases to even have to make this kind of decision!

Noorlander CW, Ververs FF, Nikkels PG, van Echteld CJ, Visser GH, Smidt MP. Modulation of serotonin transporter function during fetal development causes dilated heart cardiomyopathy and lifelong behavioral abnormalities. PLoS ONE. 2008 Jul 23;3(7):e2782.