Posted by: Sarah | 2009-07-07

Pregnant and Panic


I have had panic attacks since I was hijacked 3 years ago. I was put on medication from my GP and they really helped me. I just found out I am pregnant, can I still take the medication? Will it effect my baby at all? I am so scared that I have panic attacks during my pregnancy? Will it harm my baby?

Please help!


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Our expert says:
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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.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Shaheema | 2009-07-10

I would like to know how panic attacks will affect pregnancy.Planing buy very weary?

Reply to Shaheema

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