Pharmacy and Wellness Review


Depression during pregnancy is common, whether it is a new onset of the disease or emerging symptoms of the already existent disease. Due to patient and prescriber concerns with antidepressant use during pregnancy, approximately three-quarters of those diagnosed with depression remain untreated. Furthermore, up to half of pregnant women with depression remain undiagnosed due to lack of recognition. As a result, both mother and fetus are at risk for negative health outcomes including substance abuse, functional impairment, increased risk of postnatal depression and poor pregnancy outcomes. Benefits must be balanced against the risks when considering pharmacologic treatment options to manage depression during pregnancy. Health care professionals must also consider the secondary effects of unmanaged depression during pregnancy such as the physical health of the patient. Nonpharmacologic options such as a balanced physical activity regimen and nutritional health may be considered to help improve the well-being of the patient. Therefore, it is important for health care professionals to be educated on the treatment and management of depression in pregnancy to help patients achieve optimal outcomes not only for maternal mental and physical health but also for the health of the fetus.



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