Zoloft During Pregnancy a Comprehensive View
If you are a pregnant lady and are about to give a birth to your child then you should carefully select your medications during that time period. Most women in US as well as across the world become victims of depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Therefore, the number of women taking antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa are increasing day by day.
Most so called experts and medical practitioners say that antidepressants during pregnancy can cause health issues for mothers as well as for babies in the future. But according to the article published at Parents.com website, Women’s Mental Health Expert Healy Smith have a different opinion altogether. According to her research, taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may not cause any serious health hazard for the baby and for the mother too. There are not sufficient evidences that can prove the relationship between antidepressants and enhanced cases of birth defects. However, it is not yet confirmed that drugs like Sertraline (Zoloft) can not cause any health risks for women and newborns. Here, I am trying to uncover some myths and facts about Zoloft medication that is taken during pregnancy period by several mothers.
Zoloft During First Trimester of Pregnancy
According to the Wikipedia article on Sertraline, you can be assure about one thing that only Zoloft medication cannot be held responsible for baby birth defects like anal artresia, six fold Omphalocele, four-fold limb reduction problems, and two-fold septal defects, etc. The chances of developing these rare birth defects during the first trimester of pregnancy are very minuscule in babies. The probability of finding Sertraline in breast milk is also very low in mothers taking antidepressants like Zoloft. A certain medical research also shows that the mothers taking antidepressants possess very less blood serotonin levels and that’s why breast-fed babies also possess no significant blood serotonin.
Zoloft During Third Trimester of Pregnancy
If you are currently in the third trimester of your pregnancy and feeling anxious and depressed then taking a safe dosage of antidepressant can help you a lot. According to the experiences of various mothers shared at Babycanter.com forum thread, we can safely conclude that Zoloft is probably one of the safest drugs out there in the market for wannabe mothers to cope up with their depression issue. Instead of making your crying, depression, anxiety and panic attacks issue worse than ever, it is better to take a safe antidepressant like Sertraline (Zoloft). Many mothers over that thread have provided positive feedback about this drug and have experienced a healthy pregnancy after using Zoloft during third trimester of pregnancy.
What is the Category or Class of Zoloft During Pregnancy According to FDA?
As per the article published at Drugs.com, it is very much clear that the safe dose of Sertraline do not cause any harmful effects for pregnant women. Most doctors recommend Zoloft during pregnancy because it has various health benefits and less risks as compared to the other OTC antidepressants in the market. FDA has assigned Sertraline (Zoloft) as category C class drug. FDA has not mentioned any serious health risks for pregnant ladies and newborns as far as the safe dosages of Zoloft are concerned.
What is The Recommended Safe Dosage Level of Zoloft During Pregnancy?
Drugs.com has provided a complete safe dosage list for Zoloft to be taken in the pregnancy period. There are various dosage levels for patients of depression, anxiety and panic attacks as per their age and condition. For adults suffering from major depressive disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the safe dose is about 50 mg/day. If you are suffering from panic attacks, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress then your initial dosage level can be 25 mg/day and after a week or so, it can be increased up to 50 mg/day.
If you are suffering from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder then you need to take at least 50 mg/day of Zoloft dosage. If patient is not responding well to this dosage then it is recommended to increase the Zoloft dose up to 100-150 mg/day. But it should be only done after careful consultation with your doctor. For children suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety, the safe dosage level is 25 mg/day. For adolescents of age from 13 to 17, the dose can be increased up to 50 mg/day. Thus, for most of the anxiety, panic attack, and depression disorder sufferers; the usual range of Zoloft during pregnancy ranges from 25-50 mg/day.
Precautions Before Taking Zoloft in Pregnancy:
There are certain precautions you need to take during pregnancy if you want to use antidepressants. According to FDA research, certain category C SSRI antidepressants may cause few health issues like lung dysfunctioning in a baby before or after the birth. But there are not many evidences to prove that Zoloft (Sertraline) is the reason that can cause such health problems in pregnant women and babies. Although, there are few precautions you will have to take if you want to use Zoloft during pregnancy to treat your pregnancy depression symptoms. Some of the most important ones are as follows.
1) Consult with doctor first: Before you start using this medication, consult with your family doctor or your gynecologist. If you are suffering from certain disorders such as kidney or liver disease, bleeding and clotting malfunctioning, manic depression, etc. then you will have to tell your gynecologist about it. If you have gone through the seizure or epilepsy in the past then you will have to inform about it to your doctor. The doctor will provide you proper suggestion of whether or not to continue with Zoloft after careful consultation.
2) Some medications that should not be taken with Zoloft: If you are allergic to the Sertraline dosage then you have to completely avoid it. At the same time, if you are on a methylene blue injection or if you are using pimozide then also you will have to avoid the consumption of Zoloft medication. MAO inhibitors like phenelzine, selegiline, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, etc. can trigger dangerous results if mixed with SSRI antidepressants. This is why if you are using MAO inhibitors then you need to stop using them and wait for at least a month before you start using Zoloft during pregnancy.
How Should I Take Sertraline?
There are certain guidelines that are provided on the Drugs.com website regarding Zoloft usage. As per these guidelines, you should not take overdose or lower dose of this medication at any given time. Only recommended amount of medication should be taken during pregnancy. You need to follow all the precautions and directions as provided by your doctor before starting this course. Follow the same timing everyday to take the medicine. You may or may not eat some food before taking Zoloft.
Use the provided medicine dropper to take the right amount of dose. Then use the 4 ounces of water, lemonade or orange juice, and ginger ale to mix with the medicine dosage. Do not drink alcohol before or after the medication dose. You need to stir the mixture properly and then drink it completely. You can also add some water in the glass after you drink the entire mixture and then drink that water to make sure you take the entire medication dose properly. One last thing to remember is to not stop taking the medication during your recommended course because it can cause you some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms during pregnancy.