Effects of Celexa on newborns

Patient

Q: Is it safe to take Celexa during pregnancy? Should I wean during third trimester? corrina

Doctor

A:   Celexa is a pregnancy category C drug. To have a brief discussion, Category A are the drugs that has been proven to be safe in human subjects and therefore, beneficial and safe in all trimesters of pregnancy. Category B drugs are those that has been proven to be safe in animal subjects, but there are conflicting or inadequate studies in human subjects; these are used as 2nd options. Category C drugs are those wherein studies showed adverse reactions in animal subjects and there are inadequate studies in human subjects. Risks vs. Benefits should be weighed before using these drugs. Category D drugs are those with proven harmful effects in human subjects, hence, used only when benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Category X are those wherein animals or human subjects has shown fetal abnormalities based on data from investigations or marketing experience; the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnancy clearly outweighs benefits. With regards to Citalopram, studies have shown that it produces a withdrawal effect on newborns which may involve breathing difficulties, feeding difficulties, jitteriness, seizures, to name a few. During early pregnancy, Citalopram is relatively safe. However, in the third trimester, weaning off should be considered. It is only used during the third trimester if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus. You should discuss this with your doctor and ask on how to go about with your Citalopram prescription on the third trimester of your pregnancy, if tapering the dose is reasonable or not. I do hope I have appeased your concerns and I wish you well always. Take care.

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