Can you take Prozac while pregnant?

During pregnancy, women should monitor everything they put in their bodies. Several substances can impact a developing fetus, which is why it is important for women to stay as drug-free as possible while pregnant. Although, this may be difficult or near impossible for some women who depend on prescription medications to function in their daily lives.

Prozac is a prescription medication used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bulimia, and other health disorders. It is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and want to use Prozac to alleviate any of the disorders, talk to your doctor about whether Prozac is right for you. Currently, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Prozac under category C in terms of the safety of use during pregnancy. This category indicates there is not enough research available on human subjects to determine whether the medication is completely safe. For this reason, it is best to only use Prozac if your doctor believes the benefits of the medication will outweigh the possible risks to the fetus.

If you are currently using Prozac and no longer want to use the medication during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about tapering off your Prozac dose. You should never adjust your Prozac treatment schedule without first consulting your doctor. By gradually lowering the Prozac dose over time, patients will avoid severe withdrawal symptoms.

Will taking Prozac cause birth defects?

It is unlikely that using Prozac while pregnant will cause birth defects or increase a woman’s risk for miscarriage. However, there is some risk involved for the fetus if a pregnant woman wishes to continue her Prozac treatment into the third trimester of pregnancy.

If a pregnant woman uses Prozac during the third trimester, the baby may be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This syndrome is classified by symptoms such as irritability, excessive crying, jitteriness, increased muscle tone, difficulty breathing, trouble sleeping, tremors, and trouble feeding. If you notice these symptoms in your baby, schedule a meeting with their doctor. Often NAS symptoms are confused for other health issues. In addition, women may be at higher risk for premature delivery if they use Prozac during the third trimester. The baby may also be at risk of low birth weight and length if they are prematurely delivered. Babies exposed to Prozac in the third trimester may also have a higher risk for pulmonary hypertension at birth, though this risk is low.

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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.