Modulation of serotonin transporter function during fetal development causes dilated heart cardiomyopathy and lifelong behavioral abnormalities.
While I've drifted into the topic of antidepressants, I thought I'd share this piece on using them when pregnant. Two different antidepressants, fluoxetine (Prozac) and fluvoxamine (Luvox) were given to pregnant mice. Luvox reportedly did not as easily cross the placenta as Prozac. (This means that Luvox was not as available to the developing baby as Prozac was.)
Most of the rats' babies that were prenatally exposed to Prozac died after birth of a type heart failure known as dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and too weak to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. These rats also showed alterations in serotonin receptor levels in the raphe nucleus, the part of the brain that is in charge of serotonin release. There was also an increased incidence of behaviors in these mice indicating anxiety and depression.
If you are female and you are choosing to treat your depression with an antidepressant, and you are at an age where you can conceive, you may wish to discuss this study with your prescribing caregiver. Your medication decisions are affecting two people, both deserving of consideration.
Noorlander CW, Ververs FF, Nikkels PG, van Echteld CJ, Visser GH, Smidt MP. Modulation of serotonin transporter function during fetal development causes dilated heart cardiomyopathy and lifelong behavioral abnormalities. PLoS ONE. 2008 Jul 23;3(7):e2782.
Founder of the inCYST Institute for Hormone Health, Director of Marketing for Chow Locally. I have a passion for sustainable living initiatives that involve good food, beautiful art, and warm, genuine people. I am blessed that this blog has connected me with people from all around the world and made it feel a whole lot smaller!