The term antidepressant is sometimes applied to any therapy or process found to improve a clinically depressed mood.
SSRI’s work by increasing the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) serotonin in the brain by inhibiting its re-uptake (re-absorption) into the presynaptic cell. This process is believed to increase the level of serotonin in the synaptic cleft of the brain.
Women taking SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) during pregnancy may increase the potential risk their newborn has congenital anomalies, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, and a rare heart and lung condition known as “Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of newborns” (PPHN).
A study by, Dr. Adam Urato, obstetrician and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Mass., and Dr. Alice Domar, a psychologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, shows that antidepressant use during pregnancy is causing babies to be born with physical defects if exposed to SSRI’s while in the womb. The risk of miscarriages and pre-mature births also increases with antidepressant drug use during pregnancy.
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