New Research Suggests Medications to Treat Anxiety and Panic Disorders May Not Affect Fetus in Pregnant Women
등록일 2019년 01월 07일 화요일
수정일 2017년 11월 07일 화요일

Photo By Africa Studio via Shutterstock

New research findings revealed that anxiety and panic disorders in pregnant women may not affect the outcome of their babies.The research also suggests that pregnant women who are taking medications like serotonin reuptake inhibitors and benzodiazepines have modest adverse effects.

The previous study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine suggested that anxiety and panic disorders in pregnant women could pose negative outcomes for their babies, and use of medications for these disorders may bring risks.Negative outcomes like premature birth and low birth weight have been suggested by Yale researchers.

The new study by Yale researchers was based on interviews with more than 2,600 women who were pregnant during that time and in the weeks that followed.Ninety-eight (98) of the participants matched the criteria of researchers for the panic disorder while 252 matched for generalized anxiety disorder.Sixty-four (64) participants reported taking benzodiazepine while 293 reported taking SRI at some point during their pregnancies.

The new findings of the latest study were based on prospective analysis of a large of women compared with the previous study which was based on existing birth registry data.A set of statistical control for factors has been used to determine the possibility of an apparent association between disorders and pregnancy-related complications, such as drug use, alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking.They have found that experiencing panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder was not associated with complications.

"We have a fine-grained assessment of what psychiatric illnesses they had, as well as the medication they took.I think that is far stronger than relying on medical record diagnosis, which forms a basis of a lot of the registry studies," said Dr.Kimberly Ann Yonkers, a psychiatrist, and professor at Yale's School of Public Health and the lead author of the study.

Photo By rtdisoho via Pixabay

For the use of medications, benzodiazepines were associated with several side effects including neonatal respiratory distress while SRI was linked with hypertensive diseases of pregnancy.The researchers implied that the effects were mild and uncommon when compared with smoking.

However, Janice Goodman, a professor in the School of Nursing at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, found the interpretation of the findings quite difficult for clinical use.Goodman, who was not involved in the study but studied anxiety and pregnancy, stated that medications for both disorders may have mild adverse outcomes.Therefore, pregnant women must carefully weigh the risks and benefits before taking the medications during pregnancy.Goodman implied that treatments for anxiety and panic disorders without medications are preferred.

About Benzodiazepine

Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizers legitimately used for mental health conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and seizure.The drug influences the central nervous system and, produces sedation and muscle relaxation.It is also a commonly abused medication that rarely results in serious complications or death.But, combining it with alcohol can lead to dangerous adverse effects.

Use of benzodiazepine may cause side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, feelings of depression, and vision problems.These effects are the result of the drug enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid in the brain.The GABA neurotransmitter produces a calming effect on the billions of brain cells that respond to it.The combination of the GABA and benzodiazepine gives that tranquilized state.

Use of this drug may increase the risk of developing dementia in people over 65 years of age, according to a published study in BMJ.Long-term use of the drug can lead to dependence and it is advisable to seek professional help for a gradual abatement.Stopping cold turkey can result in tremors, muscle cramps, and life-threatening seizures.

About the Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are drugs that act as a reuptake inhibitor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.SRIs prevent serotonin to be reabsorbed by the brain and make the neurotransmitter more available.SRIs are commonly used as antidepressants but are also used to treat other psychological conditions like anxiety disorders and eating disorders.

Use of SRIs does not cause major health issues but similar to any drug, side effects may be present.Side effects include insomnia, skin rash, dry mouth, dizziness, and upset stomach.Long-term use of SRIs does not result in drug dependence; however, stopping or skipping intake of SRIs may lead to withdrawal syndrome.Nausea, dizziness, and uneasiness are some effects of withdrawal from SRIs.

Additional Information

- About 33.7 percent of the world's population has been affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime, according to a study in 2015.

- Anxiety disorders account for 14.6 percent of the disability caused by mental illness worldwide, according to a study in 2013.

- A total of 95 percent of people seeking medical treatment for benzodiazepines experienced polysubstance abuse.

- Teens commonly abuse benzodiazepines with marijuana use.

- In the US, about 110 out of 1,000 people are taking antidepressants.

- In Belgium and Finland, about 70 out of 1,000 people are taking antidepressants.

- In Italy and the Netherlands, about 42 out of 1,000 people are taking antidepressants.

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