Dr. Dugoua shares whether a woman should continue to take prescribed medications that are not for pregnancy while she is pregnant.
That depends, optimally, if a woman is already following an existent treatment plan with her family physician, then she should go to the physician to find out if that drug is safe for her in pregnancy. The majority, not the majority, but 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, so often women end up being on a medication and then they find out they’re pregnant and after that they evaluate if there’s any risk to the fetus.
The example of that would be Accutane which is a drug that causes birth defects in one out of two women, it has a very strong birth defect. It depends on the medication. If a woman is on an anti-organ rejection medication such as Cyclosporine because she had a kidney transplant, obviously she has to continue this throughout pregnancy.
Of recent interest has been the issues with SSRI, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, so these are medications for depression. We found a questionable association with that in certain birth defects in children, some cardiovascular birth defects in the children.
This has been a very interesting debate because as soon as the women have come off with their SSRIs, their antidepressant medications, the suicide rate has increased. So this is a very multi-factorial question it’s not just an infest interrupting the drug, we have to worry about the mother’s safety because she may become suicidal or even more depressed.
And also we have to look at the child’s health down the road because a child whose mother, who is born to a mother who is depressed will end up having attachment issues. There will be a lot of cognitive behavioral changes because the mother will be in a depressed state and won’t be able to bond with the child. It’s a very complicated one, it’s very complicated issue.
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