During pregnancy, everything a woman comes into contact with can potentially affect her growing fetus. This applies to food and beverages as well as other substances like over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, and illegal substances. Because the fetus is so sensitive during this time, it is recommended that women stay as drug-free as possible while they are pregnant. However, this may be difficult or perhaps impossible for some women who need prescription medications to function in their daily lives.
Effexor is a prescription medication used to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. If you are currently using Effexor for any of these disorders and are pregnant, or are considering becoming pregnant, set up a meeting with your doctor to discuss your treatment options. Due to a lack of research on human subjects, it is unknown whether it is completely safe to use Effexor during pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to determine whether the benefits of using Effexor will outweigh the possible risks of using the medication during pregnancy. Some women who suffer from major depression or other disorders may benefit from using the medication while they are pregnant.
If you are an Effexor patient and become pregnant, do not stop taking your medication or adjust your treatment schedule before speaking with your doctor. Some pregnant women who immediately stop using Effexor may experience withdrawal symptoms that can jeopardize their health and their baby’s health.
As of right now, the FDA categorizes Effexor in the C class for safety during pregnancy. This class indicates that there is a lack of significant research to determine whether this medication is safe to use during pregnancy.
In a few studies, nearly 700 babies who were born to women who used Effexor during early pregnancy or throughout their first trimester did not experience birth defects. Some studies have shown that women who take Effexor while they are pregnant may deliver their babies prematurely. However, suffering from depression itself can also increase the likelihood of pre-term birth.
Some women who use Effexor during labor may give birth to babies who experience jitteriness, increased muscle tone, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, tremors, difficulty eating, and problems breathing. These symptoms are relatively mild and usually go away on their own within two to 21 days.
Due to the FDA’s classification of Effexor, you should always first speak with your doctor before deciding whether or not you should take Effexor while you are pregnant.
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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.