Monthly Archives: June 2008

Using Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Treat Depression During Pregnancy

We commonly see women in our consultation service who have histories of depression and are planning pregnancy. They frequently have questions about alternative treatments for depression while pregnant. Given that many women are taking omega-3 fatty acids prior to pregnancy, the question arises whether they should discontinue them during pregnancy. An additional question is whether omega-3 fatty acids can be used instead of antidepressants for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

Interactions Between Antidepressants and Tamoxifen

Women receiving tamoxifen for the treatment or prevention of breast cancer should be aware of possible drug-drug interactions with specific antidepressant medications (e.g., SSRI). These antidepressants are used widely to treat depression and anxiety disorders. In addition, multiple studies have shown that these antidepressants are an effective non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes; over 25% of women who are experiencing hot flashes related to tamoxifen therapy are now prescribed antidepressants to manage their symptoms.

FDA Proposes Major Revision of Prescription Drug Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed major revisions to prescription drug labeling in order to provide more accurate and helpful information on the effects of medications used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As it stands, the current system used by the FDA classifies the reproductive safety of medications using five risk categories (A, B, C, D and X) based on data derived from human and animal studies. While widely used to make decisions regarding the use of medications during pregnancy, many have criticized this system of classification, indicating that this type of drug labeling is often not helpful and, even worse, may be misleading.

MOTHERS Act Legislation Faces Opposition

The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act — named for an Illinois woman who committed suicide three months after giving birth — was approved by the House of Representatives in October. This article from the North Jersey Record reports that the legislation has been held up in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.