Depression Home > Prozac and Pregnancy
In studies of pregnant animals, Prozac showed potential health risks to the fetus. However, Prozac can still be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that the benefits outweigh any possible risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, let your healthcare provider know so he or she can discuss the benefits and risks of the drug with you.
Prozac® (fluoxetine hydrochloride) is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning that Prozac could potentially cause harm to your unborn child.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a pregnancy category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that show side effects to the fetus in animal studies but have not been studied in pregnant women. A pregnancy Category C medicine may still be given to a pregnant woman if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
In animal studies, when rats were given Prozac during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the baby rats weighed less and were less likely to survive. Prozac did not cause any birth defects in the baby rats. In humans, there have been reports of problems in newborn babies born to mothers who were taking Prozac. These problems can be as minor as irritability and as serious as seizures or lung problems.
It is important to note that depression in the mother may also not be healthy for a baby. Therefore, as mentioned above, Prozac may be prescribed to a pregnant woman if the benefits to her outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.