It's been a life saver (literally). But now my husband and I want to have children and we have decided that the only way to do that is if I am off all medications during my pregnancy.
You probably didn't need to go off Lexapro to have a baby. With the exception of Paxil it is unclear that antidepressants significantly increase the odds of birth defects or complications. Studies have reported slightly higher incidents of defects, but there doesn't seem to be a common pattern to them which may indicate the studies aren't showing a real issue, but just reporting statistical noise. The problem is that the number of patients in each study tends to be low, the defects tend to be mostly the rare ones and the increases they report are often small.
To complicate matters, there is a large and ever growing body of evidence that maternal anxiety (and depression) can adversely affect the fetus, both immediately, and later in life. They tend to have lower birth rates (PDF
), be born prematurely and have impaired neuronal development (PDF
). As children and adults they are more prone to asthma
and to have learning difficulties
. They are also much more likely to develop anxiety disorders and/or depression later in life.
Any suggestions from anyone that has tried to get off medication completely?
Most people can get off Lexapro by dropping the dose by 5mg every 1-2 weeks. If that is still uncomfortable then try coming off in 2.5mg steps. Alternatively, Lexapro is available in liquid form which would enable you to drop by 1mg at a time, perhaps even less.