Antidepressant warning issued for pregnant women
OTTAWA - Newborns may suffer withdrawal or other possible symptoms when pregnant women take certain antidepressants during their third trimester, Health Canada warned Monday.
- INDEPTH: Antidepressants
Some newborns may have feeding and breathing difficulties, seizures, jitteriness, muscle rigidity and constant crying, the department said.
The advisory applies to:
- Wellbutrin – as an antidepressant or an aid to stop smoking.
The warning is based on Canadian and international reports of adverse events or symptoms from sudden withdrawal to the antidepressants.
Some babies born to mothers who took the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or other newer antidepressants during late pregnancy developed complications at birth requiring prolonged hospitalization, breathing support and tube feeding.
Health Canada advises women taking these drugs and other antidepressants to discuss the risks with their doctor.
Patients are warned not to stop taking the medications without consulting a doctor first.
At any given time, an estimated three million Canadians are taking an SSRI.
SSRIs work to raise serotonin levels in the brain. It's thought that reduced transmission of serotonin plays a role in depression.
Health Canada has asked manufacturers to update their labelling with a new precaution.
Written by CBC News Online staff