3rd Trimester

Zoloft users

I was on Prozac before and at the beginning of my pregnancy. It ran out and I never got it refilled, I thought I would see how I did without it. Turns out, not very well :) Anxiety is mostly the problem. I talked to my Dr. today and she put me on Zoloft but said they were pretty similar. I am worried about the baby having withdrawals when she is born. Anyone else on it? Does it help? Anyone know how common it is to affect the baby?
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Re: Zoloft users

  • I wasn't on it last pregnancy (although looking back, I probably should have been), so I can't speak personally about any withdrawals.  I do know that I'm on the lowest dose now and that it's prescribed often for pregnant women, so I'm not too worried about side effects or withdrawals in DS.  Anyway, it's one of those things that it's benefits now greatly outweigh a minor problem after birth, you know?
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  • Oh, I believe Zoloft and Prozac are exactly the same thing. It's just a different name depending on what it's used for and the price. It's also called Sarafem. I was on "Sarafem" for several years at a low dose before I conceived. It made sense to me to stop taking it while pregnant because my symptoms were related to my cycle, in my case, continuing to take it would just add unnecessary risk. I did have withdrawal symptoms, some anxiety but EXTREME insomnia. There were a few days where I literally did not sleep at all over a three or four week period.  

    If you do choose to go off it, you could speak to your doctor about options to manage any issues... I ended up calling mine in tears after several days without sleep...then had to wait for an appointment just to find out I could have taken Unisom, which you can buy at any pharmacy. It really wasn't easy, but I believe I did the right thing for me. I think having a supportive partner is also really important, just in case you do have more difficult symptoms, like I did.  I think deciding whether to go off or stay on is really a personal decision that only you can make, depending on how bad your symptoms are, your support system, and your knowledge of the risks.

    Good luck!! Wink

  • One of the reasons I was having trouble ttc was b/c of stress and anxiety.  I was put on Zoloft and was pregnant after 3 months. I took it for most of my pregnancy but they just switched me to Lexapro.  My OB doesn't recommend taking Zoloft during the third tri-mester.  In fact there is a specific warning about not taking during the third tri on my prescription.  My dr. said it's b/c of the withdrawl symptoms the baby might have after delivery, and that the risks seem to be lower w/ Lexapro.

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  • I am on zoloft and it has made such a difference. I think that without it I would have fallen apart. I didn't know about not taking it in 3rd tri, I will talk to my dr about that.
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  • I've heard completely different things than the pps regarding Zoloft.  My OB and my PCP both said Zoloft is the safest anti-depressant and the only one shown to be safe through the third tri and breastfeeding.  I'm on Lexapro because I don't tolerate Zoloft (I throw it up) and there haven't been as much testing on that.  But I feel good about our decision and I'm on a low dose. 
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  • image katierivers:
    Oh, I believe Zoloft and Prozac are exactly the same thing. It's just a different name depending on what it's used for and the price.

    This is incorrect.  Both Zoloft and Prozac are SSRIs, but that is where the similarity ends. They are very different in terms of chemical make-up.  The generic name for Zoloft is Sertaline; the generic name for Prozac is Flouxetine.  Because they are both SSRIs, the end result of how they work is similar.  "Sarafem" is also a form of flouxetine - it is not the same as Sertaline (Zoloft).

    In general, SSRIs are considered to be the safest anti-depressant option during pregnancy.  However there is an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) when the SSRI is continued in the second half of pregnancy - women who take SSRIs during the second half of pregnancy are 6 times more likely to have infants that develop PPHN.  Studies also show a small risk in SSRI babies being more irritable, having difficulty eating, and difficulty breathing (though that is very rare). 

    Most studies done by the FDA have not compared the risks associated with specific SSRIs, so there is little information available as to whether Zoloft itself is safer or less safe than other SSRIs such as Prozac.  The exception to this is Paxil - which was studied independently and the results led to the manufacturers including in the drug's labeling a specific risk of neonatal cardiac birth defects when taken during the 1st trimester.

    You can get this and a lot of other information directly from the FDA - they publish many of their studies for the public.  They do not recommend that pregnant women stop the use of their anti-depressants once they become pregnant due to studies that show they have a higher relapse of depression.  Only you can determine if how severe your anxiety is and whether it warrants the risks associated with the medication.  I stopped taking all mood altering pharmaceuticals about 10 years ago when I realized that the majority of my anxiety was situationally related, and I had the power and the choice to control most of it (not all - and it has certainly increased during pregnancy, but I feel comfortable that everyone to some degree experiences anxiety and I have support in place to handle it).  However, I know a lot of my patients who really do have such severe anxiety that they are completely unable to cope without medication.  So its up to you to determine that for yourself, and to talk to your doctor about treatment options.  Good luck! 

    * Edited to add that Lexapro (escitalopram) is also a SSRI - and again, most SSRIs have not been studied independently or in comparison in regards to effects on pregnancy - so it is very difficult to determine that Lexapro is any safer or less safe than Prozac or Zoloft.


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  • I have horrible anxiety, I am seeing a psychotherapist as well as taking zoloft and it has been pretty managable throughout the pregnancy.  Now i am starting to freak about the delivery, but other than that i have been good.  I am on 100mg.
  • the #1 issue with babies born with Zoloft in their system is that they are "lazy" at birth...in other words they choose to not breath....they often require a lot of stimulation to get them going....but other than that they do fine.

    my three were born w/ it in their systems and they all did this...and this baby will probably too

  • this has been a very helpful post for me.  i just got back from my 32 week check up and my dr. was a little concerned for me.  i have terrible anxiety and i take paxil.  but as soon as i found out i was pregnant, i stopped taking it.  i know, probably shouldn't have but there you go. 

    so lately i've been blaming all my issues on my hormones but the dr. said to think about it and maybe give paxil or prozac (i'm allergic to zoloft) a try, so that when i have the LO, it will be easier to deal with post partem.  she also said that because i will be a nursing mom, it will help the baby not have such bad withdrawls because it will be in my breastmilk. 

    so i'm going to really think about it.  my poor family has been so stunned with my behavior, i'm thinking it will really make a difference!

    god luck to you!  hope you can get relief!

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