Monthly Archives: April 2006

Menstrual Cycle Irregularity in Women with Bipolar Disorder

Preliminary reports have suggested that menstrual irregularity may occur more commonly in women with mood disorders than in the general population. What has been unclear, however, is whether these menstrual cycle irregularities reflect an underlying disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in women with mood disorders or are caused by the psychotropic medications used to treat these psychiatric disorders.In a recent study, Dr. Hadine Joffe of the Center for Women’s Mental Health and her colleagues assessed the prevalence of menstrual cycle dysfunction in 3 groups of women: (1) with bipolar disorder, (2) with unipolar depression, or (3) with no psychiatric illness (Joffe 2006).

By |2015-07-28T09:54:19-04:00April 24th, 2006|PMS and PMDD|0 Comments

Use of Paxil during Pregnancy

Q. I have taken Paxil for about six years for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have tried several times to stop the medication but the symptoms come back within a few weeks of stopping the medication. My husband and I are now planning a pregnancy, and my obstetrician tells me that I cannot take Paxil during pregnancy. Are there any other options?

Withdrawal Symptoms in Newborns Exposed to SSRIs

A recent report suggests that newborns exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Paxil may be at risk for developing withdrawal symptoms after delivery (Levinson-Castiel 2005). However, the investigators also noted that the symptoms usually disappeared within 48 hours and did not require medical intervention.

SSRIs and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn

Literature accumulated over the last decade supports the use of certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the older tricyclic antidepressants during pregnancy, indicating no increased risk of congenital malformation in children exposed to these medications during the first trimester of pregnancy. Still, questions remain regarding the purported risk for "toxicity" in newborns exposed to antidepressants around the time of labor and delivery (see Fall 2004 and Spring 2005 Newsletters). In addition, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has linked SSRI use during late pregnancy to an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn (Chambers 2006).

Relapse of Major Depression during Pregnancy

Over the last decade, the number of reproductive-age women treated for depression has increased significantly. Given the incomplete information available regarding the reproductive safety of many antidepressant medications, many women choose to discontinue pharmacologic treatment during pregnancy. However, several studies estimate that about 10 to 15% of women suffer from depression during pregnancy (O'Hara et al, 1990; Evans et al, 2001). A recent study from the Center for Women's Mental Health indicates that the risk for depression is particularly high among women with histories of major depression (Cohen et al, 2006).