An article in Internal Medicine News reported that SSRI use during pregnancy raises a newborns risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. It even said that the risk doubled for use during late pregnancy. In the study, Dr. Kieler and her associates included six SSRIs in the analyses: fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and escitalopram (Lexapro).

In a baby with PPHN, the fetal circulatory system doesn’t “switch over,” and the baby’s blood flow continues to bypass the lungs. You can read more about Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in a newborn here.

If you are freaking out reading this, about to throw your bottle in the trash, you need to know one thing: You can not get off of your SSRIs for anxiety and/or depression all by yourself. 

If you are on SSRIs like Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, and Lexapro, you must do it under the supervision of a doctor. There are very serious consequences for some of these medications for stopping without a game plan that has been discussed with your doctor.  If you are currently on an SSRI and trying to become pregnant or are already pregnant, please discuss with your doctor what your individual risks are for both getting off and staying on your medication. Provided you aren’t taking an SSRI for a personality disorder, often doctors will help you wean yourself off under their guidance. It’s likely though that the anxiety and depression will just come back though.

If you are on an SSRI, ask your doctor about getting your Vitamin D level checked. Chances are good, if you are like most Americans you are at least mildly deficient. Vitamin D isn’t just for bone health, and unless your doctor lives in the Dark Ages, he knows that. There are strong links inditing Vitamin D deficiency with a number of issues including anxiety and depression.

A friend with perfect timing shared this video with me today, I think you will find it very useful:

 

 

Further reading on Vitamin D and Anxiety and/or Depression:

Depression: Patient friendly summary

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anxiety and depression in fibromyalgia.

The Need for Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 enhances mood in healthy subjects during winter.

Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Risk of Incident Premenstrual Syndrome