Maternal Use of Antidepressants Linked to Hypertension

As one of the most widely used medications across the globe, antidepressants have helped countless patients treat related conditions. As their names suggest, antidepressants are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorders (MDDs). However, these medications have recently become synonymous with the development of serious side effects. Of significant concern, however, is the increased risk of heightened blood pressure when certain populations are introduced to antidepressants. Maternal treatment with antidepressants may significantly increase the risk of a woman raising her blood pressure beyond that of which is considered safe.

There currently exists an entire arsenal of antidepressants indicated to treat a number of major depressive disorders. The most popular of which are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). As SSRIs, most antidepressants prevent the absorption of serotonin by localized neurotransmitters in the brain. Furthermore, by preventing the reuptake of serotonin, there is an excess of the chemical present in the brain. This is important because this chemical is believed to affect the behavioral patterns and mood of an individual. The larger ratio of serotonin then serves to stimulate receptors and treat depression.

Symptoms covered by antidepressant treatment often include: depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Criticism, regarding the use of SSRI antidepressants, originated in 2006 when the FDA issued a corresponding Public Health Advisory. The July 19 Safety Announcement acknowledged potential dangers associated with taking antidepressants during pregnancy. However, this study acknowledged the potential dangers that the fetus may encounter. A new study acknowledges that expecting mothers are placed at risk of suffering from severe complications when taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

According to a new study publish in The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, taking antidepressants during pregnancy raises the risk of high blood pressure in expectant mothers.

The study focused on 13,000 pregnant women, 1,200 of whom had pregnancy-induced hypertension with no history of the condition before they became pregnant. The researchers found that women taking antidepressants of any kind had a 53 percent greater risk of high blood pressure. Those who were taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s, saw their risk rise even higher, by 81 percent.

Hypertension (HTN), otherwise known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. High blood pressure, if left unaddressed, may result in life-threatening complications.

Do I Have an Antidepressant Lawsuit?

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If you or a loved one has been injured by an antidepressant, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-(949) 557-5800.