Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Safer Alternative to Treating Women with Major Depressive Disorder During Pregnancy

Date

2022-08

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Abstract

The common treatment for severe depression in pregnant women is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are assumed to be effective and harmless to the fetus; however those benefits have not been established. Studies have shown that SSRI use during pregnancy actually pose higher complications for the mother postpartum and the fetus during developmental stages. SSRIs can affect brain development in the fetus due to altered levels of serotonin during developmental sensitive periods. A more effective and safer intervention to overcoming this issue is shown with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

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Keywords

Electroconvulsive therapy, Major depressive disorder, Pregnant women, Pregnancy

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