New research, as blogged by MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health confirms what we have known for a while, that pregnant women who decide to discontinue their antidepressant medication should do so GRADUALLY. The instinct for many women is to cut off their medication immediately, particularly if the pregnancy was unplanned. But this research supports the instruction to taper off slowly in order to reduce the risk of relapse. Even though it may expose the fetus to slightly more medication, it seems that the trade off is significant. The risk of relapse is high.
Discontinuing the medication rapidly is defined as 1-7 days, while tapering slowly is defined as 14 days.
Women taking medication who find themselves pregnant should discuss this with their doctor in order to insure a safe course of action.