Concern about birth defects shouldn't stop women from taking mental health drugs, experts say

Many pregnant mothers have taken drugs for mental disorders since teenage years

NEW YORK – Pregnant women taking drugs for mental health problems should not stop taking their drugs without first talking to their doctors, experts say.

At a recent luncheon sponsored by the March of dimes National Communications Advisory Council, experts said more than half of pregnant women take at least one prescription drug at some time during pregnancy, and some young women have been taking drugs to treat such conditions as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since they were teenagers. Women taking these drugs should seek support and guidance from healthcare providers to determine if they should continue or switch to another drug.

"Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about which medications they are taking and what are the best options for them while pregnant," Yale University School of Medicine post-menopausal syndrome and perinatal psychiatric research program director Kimberly Yonkers said. "It is important to balance the possible risks and benefits of all medications to the mother and the baby."


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