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Antidepressants may complicate pregnancies

Many patients in Oregon rely upon prescription drugs to treat their symptoms. For many, medication may be the primary reason they schedule a visit with their doctors. When a prescription error is made or the wrong dose is administered, however, the result can be tragic.

According to a large U.S. study reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, using certain antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm births or newborn seizures. Experts are not sure if the medications are inherently at fault, but they recommend stopping all antidepressant use during pregnancy as the safest course. The list of potential offenders includes Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Paxil.

Depression during pregnancy is not uncommon. According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, between 14-23% of women might struggle with symptoms of depression during pregnancy. The actual number might be higher yet, considering that many pregnant women might disregard depressive symptoms as a type of hormonal imbalance and not seek help.

Although untreated depression can be dangerous for both the mother and her unborn child, a health care professional might be well advised to explore alternative medications and treatments.

Doctors and caregivers typically have a duty to perform careful patient intake, inquiring about your medical history and any medications you may be taking. If that intake was not thorough, it may open the door to dangerous drug interactions.

If your health care professional prescribed an unsafe medication or administered the wrong dose, you may be left with serious injuries. An attorney can review your case and determine if your doctor or pharmacist was negligent in ensuring your safety.

Source: Fox News, "More questions on antidepressants during pregnancy," May 31, 2012

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