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Citalopram or Celexa: Safe During Pregnancy?

Citalopram or Celexa Safe During Pregnancy

Amongst the wide variety of antidepressants available, we will be focusing on the generic antidepressant Citalopram. Celexa is its most common brand of Citalopram. Let us find out Celexa or Citalopram is safe for you during your pregnancy. 

Depression is an emotion where you feel down. There may or may not be a reason for you to feel low. Depression leads to different problems in life. It alters your thoughts, behavior, and feelings. It also changes your perspective in life, and you may look at things objectively.

Antidepressants like Citalopram help you get back to normal. Drowsiness may occur during the first few days of taking citalopram. It works by restoring serotonin (a natural substance) in the brain. It belongs to the class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Celexa (Citalopram) is used for treating women during pregnancy for the cause of depression. 

Why Is The Treatment For Depression During Pregnancy Necessary?

There is a possibility that you will get depressed during pregnancy. Depression happens because a new life is created inside of you. The new life brings in hormonal changes in you, affecting your brain. If untreated, this can continue after delivery too. Depression after delivery is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. We will discuss PTSD in another blog. In this blog, let us focus on depression during pregnancy.

Your depression can cause you to eat a lot or eat too little. Lack of proper diet affects the baby inside your womb. From premature birth to low baby weight, the problems galore. You must eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself. You may also find it challenging to bond with your baby after the baby’s birth.

Is It Possible To Make It More Difficult To Conceive?

If you are planning pregnancy and are on Citalopram, you need not worry. As per studies, there is no proof suggesting difficulties in conceiving a baby after consuming Citalopram. Quite to the contrary, Citalopram helps treat depression. Also, there is no risk of miscarriage once you are pregnant if you are on Citalopram. Similarly, in the case of men, as per studies, there is no fertility problem. No studies have established that Citalopram can cause fertility issues in men.

Breastfeeding While Taking Citalopram

You can consume Citalopram if you are breastfeeding. Prima facie, no side effects were seen in breastfed infants for one year. However, if you are lactating and breastfeeding your baby, you need to consider the following points if you are on Citalopram.

  • You may find breastfeeding challenging.
  • You may need support from others for breastfeeding.
  • You need to monitor the child for excessive sleepiness.

Keep in mind. It would be best if you do not stop consuming Citalopram abruptly. If you have an unplanned pregnancy and are already on Citalopram, you should continue taking it even in pregnancy and after that. It will not harm you or your child.

Can Citalopram Increase The Chance Of Congenital Disabilities In The Child?

Congenital disabilities refer to health issues that a baby has from birth. These disabilities may occur for no reason at all, or they may occur because of some harmful habits or environmental factors, or genetics. As far as Citalopram is concerned, there is a slight possibility of the following congenital disabilities:

  • Heart Defects

When you are in Citalopram, it is essential to regularly monitor the infant through sonographies. However, remote the infant may suffer from a hole in the heart. This can be detected via a scan in the third trimester. A hole in the heart can lead to heart failure or a stroke in the infant.

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

There is a possibility that the newborn may face the problem of having an easy flow of oxygen to the lungs. This happens if Celexa is consumed, leading to a Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension condition, also known as Potential Hypertension. A warning sign for the same is made mandatory by FDA on the medicine.

  • Physical Abnormalities.

It is possible that in sporadic cases, the newborn child may suffer from the following physical abnormalities:

  • Anencephaly: The development of certain infant body parts may not occur.
  • Craniosynostosis: In this case, two brain bones may get fused. This takes place before the brain of the child is fully developed.
  • Omphalocele. : In this case, the belly wall is not developed appropriately, causing the baby’s organs to cross the belly wall.

Is There Any Additional Danger To The Baby?

Overall, if you are depressed, you can consume Citalopram. There is no risk to the fetus. Initially, for a month, your infant may face the following issues:

  • Irritability
  • Respiratory problems
  • Jitteriness
  • Problems in feeding. 

Furthermore, facts about citalopram and how much is effective read the blog: Citalopram Reviews: How Much Is Effective And Safe?

Quick FAQ

Can Celexa cause still birth?
Stillbirth means losing a child after the pregnancy or within a womb. No evidence shows that Celexa leads to stillbirth.
Does Celexa affect the fetus?
There are mild chances of risk that may affect the baby in the womb. If you are suffering from depression, then the benefits overrun the drawbacks.
How long should you be off Citalopram before getting pregnant?
You should keep away the Citalopram medication for at least six months before getting pregnant. If you need the drug, you can start again after a doctor's observation.

Conclusion

Citalopram or Celexa is not an OTC medicine. This is a prescription-only medicine. On the whole, the medication is not harmful in pregnancy. In rare cases, the child may suffer some health issues. If you are pregnant and need to take Citalopram, the best way forward is to ensure constant scans and regular checkups after your baby is born. Keep an eye on your and your child’s health. Depression can be debilitating, and it is important to seek treatment for the same.

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