Celexa® Recommended Dosage During Pregnancy

Patients should begin Celexa® at a 20 mg/day dose and gradually increase to 40 mg/day. Doses above 40 mg/day generally are not recommended.

If the patient is pregnant, her physician should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of the treatment. This is something that should only be decided between a patient and her doctor.

Warnings About Taking Celexa® While Pregnant

Numerous disorders have affected infants born to mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) late in their third trimester, according to reports. Celexa® is an SSRI. Complications that have been reported to have occurred immediately after delivery include:

  • Prolonged hospitalization
  • Respiratory support
  • Tube feeding

Other complications have been found in newborns and attributed either to the direct toxic effects of SSRIs or withdrawal from the SSRIs. Clinical problems that have been reported in newborns include:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Cyanosis (bluish color of the skin indicating low oxygen levels in the blood)
  • Apnea (prolonged periods between breaths)
  • Seizures
  • Unstable temperature
  • Problems feeding
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar
  • Hypertonia (abnormal increase in muscle tension and reduced ability of muscle to stretch)
  • Hyperreflexia (over-responsive reflexes)
  • Tremor
  • Jitteriness
  • Irritability
  • Constant crying

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Another complication that has been associated with taking Celexa® during pregnancy is persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Associated with substantial newborn mortality and illness, PPHN occurs when the newborn's circulatory system fails to assume its function of oxygenating the blood. Before birth, the fetus receives oxygenated blood from its mother through the umbilical cord. After birth, the infant's circulatory system must do this job.

One small study showed that the occurrence of PPHN was six times higher in infants exposed to SSRIs after the 20th week of gestation than infants not exposed to antidepressants during their life in the mother's womb. This study, however, has not yet been corroborated by other work, and is the first study to indicate such a risk of PPHN.

Celexa® Use During Pregnancy

The patient and her doctor must decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks of taking Celexa® during pregnancy. The antidepressant effect of Celexa® may be more important to her and her fetus' health than the risks of taking the drug. Depression in a pregnant mother can have undesirable effects on the health of the mother and possibly her fetus.

If you took Celexa® during your pregnancy and your infant was born with any type of health complication, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your damages. To learn more, schedule a free review of your case today with a Celexa® birth defect attorney.

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