Celexa and Pregnancy

Celexa side effects in Pregnant Women

Celexa is a potentially dangerous drug which can effects both pregnant women and their unborn babies. Even otherwise, women may experience suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming themselves. This however does not necessarily mean that an abrupt end to Celexa's use may cure the condition, it may exacerbate it further; the depression may get worse.

Forest Laboratories, Inc. that manufactures Celexa admits that women who abruptly stopped using Celexa during pregnancy showed a significant increase in the relapse of their condition of major depression. This is especially true when this group was compared with the group of those pregnant women which continued using Celexa throughout pregnancy. However, the long term use of Celexa may have its own disadvantages.

Basis for Celexa's Safety Concerns

Celexa's own manufacturer admits that the use of the antidepressant warrants caution. Forest Laboratories, Inc. recommends that those women who are either pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, should tell their healthcare provider before taking Celexa. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in one of its alerts said that babies born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that Celexa belongs to, were 6 times more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). This is especially more severe when SSRIs were taken after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Due to Celexa's multiple side effects in pregnant women and birth defects in their babies, the drug's manufacturer has often been sued.

Celexa and pregnancy

Celexa has been classified as a pregnancy Category C drug by the FDA. This further implies that in animal tests, celexa exposure directly resulted in dangerous abnormalities that developed in the offspring throughout the embryo, fetal as well as postnatal stages. Furthermore, the studies that have been conducted with regards to humans have yielded insufficient data for determining the safety of this drug.

Forest Laboratories, Inc. has itself warned that neonates born to mothers taking Celexa and SSRI's late in the third trimester have developed various complications. Some of the following complications may require tube feeding, respiratory support and prolonged hospitalization:

  • Apnea
  • Cyanosis
  • Respiratory distress
  • Constant crying
  • Irritability
  • Jitteriness
  • Tremor
  • Hyperreflexia
  • Hypertonia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Vomiting
  • Feeding difficulty
  • Temperature Instability
  • Seizures
  • Feeding mothers are also warned of the possible dangers associated with the use of Celexa as the drug could pass into breast milk. This may lead to weight loss in the baby, decreased feeding and excessive somnolence.

    The FDA isn't the only one forewarning about the use of Celexa and its association with PPHN. It is worth mentioning here that congenital defects due to Celexa exposure are associated with neonatal mortality.

    Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)

    PPHN relates to a condition in which the lungs do not completely perform their main function of exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. Due to this, babies have low blood-oxygen levels, which may lead to serious complications such as damage to vital organs of the body.

    PPHN can be diagnosed by performing diagnostic procedures like:

  • Testing oxygen levels
  • Blood tests
  • X-ray tests
  • PPHN may be treatable but some options may be invasive and painful. An ET tube may be inserted into the baby's windpipe. The baby may be put on a mechanical breathing machine. The baby may also be made to inhale nitric oxide. In some cases, the baby's blood may be pumped into an artificial lung where oxygen is added and the blood is pumped back into the baby. This procedure is called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

    If you or your baby has suffered due to Celexa, you can file a lawsuit against Celxa and its manufacturer Forrest Laboratories. You may be eligible for compensation against the expenses that you have incurred during the course of the treatment as well as the pain and anguish that you have had to suffer as a result.

    For requesting further information on your case, kindly fill out the form provided on this page.

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    Q:What can be the side effects of Celexa during pregnancy?

    A:Celexa has not been given a clean bill of health by doctors and it may cause dangerous side effects in pregnant women. The contents of the drug can result in side effects for the mother as well as the unborn baby. Babies can suffer from birth defects such as persistent pulmonary hypertension and heart defects.

    Q:Is it safe to use Celexa while pregnant?

    A:Celexa is not a safe drug for pregnant women, as it can result in harmful side effects for the mother and baby. Mothers may go through symptoms such as drowsiness, loss of appetite, weight loss, mood and behavior changes, and various other side effects. The drug use can also result in severe birth defects and disorders in newborns.

    Q:Is celexa safe during pregnancy?

    A:Doctors have not given Celexa a clean bill of health, as it can have several side effects, particularly for pregnant women. Due to the use of drug, pregnant women may go through various physical and mental effects. There can be several life threatening birth defects in unborn babies as well.

    Q:I have been taking celexa during pregnancy. Should I be concerned?

    A:Celexa can result in severe side effects for the mother as well as the baby. If you are currently using the medicine, it is best to contact your doctor and discuss side effects of the drug. However, it is not recommended that you leave the medicine abruptly, as you may go through withdrawal side effects as well.