Antidepressants Often Ineffective During Pregnancy, in New Moms

MONDAY, March 7, 2022 (HealthDay News).

Antidepressants don’t always help relieve depression and anxiety in pregnant women and new moms, according to a new study. “This is the first longitudinal data showing that many pregnant women report symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after childbirth, despite choosing to continue antidepressant treatment,” said study senior author Dr. Katherine Wisner. She directs the Usher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The new study “allows us to understand that these women need ongoing monitoring during pregnancy and postpartum so that their doctors can tailor their treatment to relieve their symptoms,” Wiesner said in a university press release. For study 88 pregnant women from the United States were examined every four weeks from the time they entered the study before giving birth, and also at six and 14 weeks after giving birth.

During pregnancyThe study found that 18% of the women had minimal,

50% mild, and 32% clinically significant symptoms of depression. Despite taking antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), many women had lingering depression throughout pregnancy and after childbirth. Anxiety was also common among the treated women, with some of the symptoms worsening over time, according to the results, published March 4 in the journal. Psychiatric research and clinical practice.

“Psychological and psychosocial factors change rapidly during childbirth,

” says co-author Dr. Katherine Stika, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University. “Re-examinations will allow your doctor to tailor the type and/or intensity of intervention until your symptoms improve.”

The researchers also noted that depression in mothers affects their children.

“This is very important because children exposed to a depressed mother have an increased risk of developmental disorders in childhood,” Wisner said. The study also found that pregnant women taking antidepressants had other health problems, such as being overweight, infertility, migraines, thyroid disease, and asthma. A history of eating disorders predicted higher levels of depression.

Depression and anxiety affect 20% of women during pregnancy and after childbirth. Researchers estimate that this means that about 500,000 women in the US have or will have a mental illness during pregnancy.

More information

March of Dimes has more on depression during pregnancy.

SOURCE: Northwestern University press release March 4, 2022

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