Citalopram Pregnancy


Citalopram is a popular antidepressant that can be used to treat depression during pregnancy. It is important to understand the possible effects of this drug on pregnant women and their unborn children before using it. Although there have not been any major reports of adverse outcomes due to Citalopram use in pregnant women, some studies have suggested an association with an increased risk of birth defects, preterm delivery, and neonatal complications. On the other hand, there may also be potential benefits for treating depression during pregnancy with Citalopram, including improved quality of life for the mother and improved maternal-fetal attachment following delivery.

It is important that any woman considering taking Citalopram during her pregnancy discuss the risks and potential benefits with her healthcare provider. In addition to discussing risk factors, a woman should also talk about lifestyle factors such as drug or alcohol use that may increase the risk of harm to the developing fetus. Healthcare providers should review all available data on benefits and risks before making a decision about prescribing or continuing treatment with Citalopram in a pregnant woman. Ultimately, every decision needs to take into account an individual’s unique circumstances and needs so that an informed decision can be made by both patient and provider.


Citalopram is a medication that is used to treat depression and other mood disorders. It is an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) and works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can improve mood. While citalopram has many potential benefits for women with depression in pregnancy, it does come with certain risks and potential side effects.

For this reason, it is important for pregnant women to consult a medical professional before taking citalopram during their pregnancy. There are some contraindications and cautions that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to take citalopram while pregnant.

Common contraindications include any known hypersensitivity or allergy to citalopram, an established diagnosing of bipolar disorder, seizures (epilepsy), liver disease, glaucoma (narrow-angle type), or kidney problems. Citalopram should also be avoided in combination with other medications such as lithium or including drugs like MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). Additionally, women who have recently stopped taking medications such as MAOIs may need to wait two weeks before starting safe treatment with citalopram for their pregnancy. Women who are breastfeeding should avoid taking citalopram due to its transfer into the breast milk causing undetermined effects on the baby.

These conditions represent some common contraindications that should always be discussed with a physician prior to starting treatment with citalpam while pregnant.

Impact on Baby

Research on the effects of citalopram use during pregnancy is limited, but some studies suggest that exposure to citalopram prior to birth could have a negative impact on an infant’s development. One study found that newborns exposed to citalopram in the womb in late gestation experienced a significant decrease in fetal movement, resulting in poorer performance on neurologic assessments compared with infants who had not been exposed.

Additional studies report that prenatal exposure to SSRI medications such as citalopram may be associated with persistently decreased neonatal respiratory rate and heart rate variability throughout the first few days of life, indicating that exposure may be linked to decreased autonomic nervous system regulation.

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Other reports suggest links between SSRI use during pregnancy and neurological issues such as lower scores on tests assessing coordination, balance, and neuromuscular control. Exposed children showed signs of being more agitated, having higher levels of activity, and having reduced ability to sustain attention throughout their first year when compared with those who were not exposed before birth.

Finally, research has indicated that SSRI antidepressant use during the third trimester of gestation could possibly increase the risk for language delay or disorder: one study suggests a modest correlation between third-trimester exposure and language impairment in toddlers.

Potential Benefits and Protective Effects

Taking Citalopram during pregnancy is generally not recommended unless the benefits outweigh the risks. However, there are some potential benefits and protective effects that should be discussed with your healthcare provider before taking this medication during pregnancy.

The antidepressant properties of Citalopram may help alleviate depression symptoms in pregnant women which can lower the risk of postpartum depression. Recent studies have also found that Citalopram may reduce fetal growth restriction when taken late in a pregnancy, potentially reducing the risk for premature birth. Additionally, using low-dose Citalopram during pregnancy has been shown to potentially prevent preterm labor as well as reduce major neonatal complications such as meconium aspiration syndrome and respiratory distress syndrome.

Finally, because SSRIs such as Citalopram inhibit serotonin reuptake from presynaptic cells to stabilize moods, studies suggest that the fetal brain may actually benefit from the drug’s effects due to an increased amount of serotonin being passed through to the fetus in utero. This increased level of serotonin could support healthy development of cells in newborns (including those found within developing brains).

Recommended Use

The use of citalopram during pregnancy is a topic that has been explored and debated among medical professionals. When it comes to taking citalopram during pregnancy, the primary concern is that it may increase the risk of harm to the developing fetus. As a result, the standard approach taken by most doctors is to only prescribe this medication if the potential benefits outweigh any existing risks. Therefore, determining when and how citalopram should be used safely is an important discussion between expecting parents and their doctor.

In some cases, patients with severe medical conditions such as major depressive disorder or panic disorder may require treatment with citalopram during pregnancy in order to avoid adverse health effects on themselves or their fetus. If a person falls into this category, carefully monitoring for any signs of abnormal fetal development should be discussed with one’s healthcare provider. In addition, breastfeeding while taking citalopram should be discussed with the healthcare provider given its potential risks to infants.

Overall, understanding and weighing potential risks versus benefits is essential to make an informed decision regarding the use of citalopram in pregnant women. Consulting a doctor who specializes in pregnancy care can help provide up-to-date information on the latest advances in treating psychiatric conditions during pregnancy. This is especially important since not all studies support a clear correlation between increased risk for fetal harm when taking citalopram in later stages of pregnancy.


Citalopram is most commonly used to treat depression in non-pregnant patients. As such, citalopram should be avoided during pregnancy since there is not enough research to determine its safety for pregnant women and their unborn babies. In order to reduce the depressive symptoms experienced by an expectant mother, there are a variety of other options that should be considered and discussed with a medical professional.

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Natural remedies such as balanced diet, regular exercise, yoga and relaxation techniques can help to alleviate some of the symptoms related to depression. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as developing healthy habits like getting adequate sleep or joining support groups or therapy can also be beneficial; these methods of treatment do not typically come with side effects. If the symptoms remain unmanageable after implementing these strategies, prescription medications alternative to citalopram can also be prescribed by a doctor while taking into consideration the potential risks associated with these alternative drugs. Examples include prenatal care treatments such as Zoloft (sertraline), Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Celexa (citalopram).


When a mother is pregnant,her health and that of the fetus should be taken into consideration when making treatment decisions. If a woman is diagnosed with depression during pregnancy, she must weigh the risks and benefits of taking Citalopram in light of her own health and that of her baby. There are ethical considerations to consider when prescribing Citalopram to pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant. For instance, it is important for physicians to discuss all available treatment options to ensure the woman makes an informed decision, including non-medication therapeutic interventions such as psychotherapy. Additionally, potential risks should be discussed in detail and alternative treatments should be carefully considered. From a legal standpoint, providers prescribing Citalopram for pregnant women must ensure full consent is obtained from the patient and/or guardians (in cases where applicable) after having assigned appropriate warnings about the potential risks and side effects associated with taking the drug. Furthermore,should adverse events arise due to taking Citalopram there may be liability issues arising from any failure to adequately inform the patient of possible dangers associated with the drug; thus,keeping accurate documentation becomes all the more important when providing care to a pregnant woman taking this drug.


It is important for pregnant women who are considering taking Citalopram to speak with their healthcare provider, since the benefits and risks associated with taking this medication during pregnancy may differ depending on each woman’s individual medical circumstances. Overall, there is not enough reliable data available to determine whether or not Citalopram is completely safe during pregnancy. Therefore, caution should always be used when considering its use. In general, women are advised to avoid Citalopram if it is not clearly necessary. Whenever possible, other treatment methods such as lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, or psychotherapy should be utilized in place of medication for treating depression. If alternative treatments are not effective and a woman does decide to take Citalopram during her pregnancy, the lowest dose possible should be taken for actual least amount of time to achieve symptom relief. Additionally, regular monitoring and follow-up appointments with a healthcare provider should be maintained in order to detect any potential signs of side effects or complications from the medication as soon as possible and make adjustments if necessary.

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