Our expert says:
PSYCHIATRIST: It is always best to try to avoid medications during your pregnancy unless the risk of your untreated psychiatric illness could prove to be more harmful to your pregnancy than the medications.However, I would never suggest a termination of a pregnancy to a woman who has taken medication for panic disorder during her pregnancy.
For ethical reasons, studies of medications are not done on pregnant women but the pharmaceutical companies and various medication monitoring organisations keep records of all possible adverse effects occuring in pregnant women who have been on medications. To date, babies born to mothers who have been taking anti-depressants, have not been shown to have any more abnormalities than found in the general population. Remembering,that every pregnancy carries a small risk of a foetal abnormality. The one exception is paroxetine which may have a small increased risk of heart abnormalities.
I recommend that the tranquillisers (benzodiazepines) should not be used in the first 3 months of a pregnancy.
If possible you should stop your medications in pregnancy or atleast in the first 3 months of pregnancy unless your risk for relapse of serious panic attacks is great. Remember that an untreated psychiatrically ill mother may also have a negative effect on her unborn baby.
The decision as to whether you continue your medications or not in pregnancy needs to be taken between you, father of the baby and your doctor together.
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