Pexeva and Pregnancy
Pexeva and Third-Trimester Concerns
There have been reports of fetuses being exposed to SSRI medications like Pexeva during the third trimester of pregnancy developing complications that require hospitalization, respiratory support, and/or tube feeding. These newborns experienced a number of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of oxygen in the blood
- Feeding difficulties
- Constant crying.
Also, babies exposed to Pexeva late during pregnancy are at increased risk for developing persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is associated with significant complications and even death. Women who take SSRIs, including Pexeva, after week 20 of pregnancy have a sixfold increase of delivering a baby with PPHN.
This medication is not recommended for use in pregnant women, except in special situations, such as in women with severe depression who do not respond to other antidepressants. However, it is important to avoid stopping Pexeva too suddenly. Doing so may lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as:
It should be noted that depression during pregnancy may lead to low fetal birth weight, as well as pre-term delivery. In addition, severe depression can be quite disabling for a pregnant woman. Therefore, it is important that depression be adequately treated during pregnancy.
The decision on whether to use psychotherapy (counseling) or medications is an individual one, based on multiple factors, including the severity of the depression and what treatments have worked in the past. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the best option for your particular situation.