Thursday, September 17, 2009

Treatment guidelines issued on depression during pregnancy

For women with serious conditions, medication may be the best route, but 'talk therapy' may alleviate suffering for others, according to a document prepared by two national physicians groups.

For the nearly one in four women who experience symptoms of depression during pregnancy, physicians on the front lines have long had little more than a prescription for antidepressants and a massive dose of uncertainty to offer.

The result: At last count, roughly 13% of pregnant women in the United States took antidepressant medications at some point in their pregnancy -- often with little to guide them in weighing the risks the drugs may pose to their fetus against the misery and dangers of untreated depression.

In a bid to resolve that conundrum, two of the nation's leading physicians groups have issued the first guidelines for the treatment of depression during pregnancy.


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