Q: Can I take Zoloft while I'm pregnant?
CATEGORY C: Adverse effects in animal studies but there are no human studies.
A: Only if you have to. This anti-anxiety medication (sertraline hydrochloride) is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is used to help control depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive and panic disorders. Because it crosses the placenta, it puts your baby at risk. Be sure to consult with your psychiatrist and ob-gyn to come up with a plan as quickly as possible since Zoloft, when taken during the last half of pregnancy, can be associated with a rare newborn lung problem known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
In fact, women who take Zoloft during the latter part of their pregnancy are six times more likely to deliver a child with PPHN. "You'll also want to avoid taking Zoloft in the third trimester because you're setting up your baby for withdrawal symptoms when she's born," says Dr. Roshan, "She may even have seizures after birth due to withdrawal."