Prozac During Pregnancy: All You Need to Know

Published on: 03 Apr 2023
Clinically Reviewed by Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C
Prozac During Pregnancy

Depression in women is serious. It’s a mental health condition that can affect any woman at any age. It can even be a concern for pregnant women. In fact, some research suggests that an estimated 4% – 20% of pregnant women experience severe depression during pregnancy. For many of them, symptoms of depression can be so severe that medication is needed. One of the most common psychiatrist prescribed medications for treating depression is Prozac (Fluoxetine).

Since we’re taught that we should try to avoid so many things while pregnant, it’s natural to question the safety of Prozac and pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more before you consider seeking Prozac online or through a prescription at a pharmacy.

Is It Safe to Take Prozac While Pregnant?

Unfortunately, the answer to the question is Prozac safe during pregnancy isn’t simple. Every woman’s situation will vary depending on medical history and current health status before and during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends discussing all treatment options with a healthcare provider before making any decisions about taking medication while pregnant — this includes Prozac or other SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft (Sertraline) or Celexa (Citalopram).

“Unfortunately, there is limited information on the safety of Prozac during pregnancy. Most information discusses how risk cannot be ruled out. Please speak with your prescriber and your OB/GYN regarding your use of Prozac during pregnancy.”

Talkspace therapist Ashley Ertel, LCSW, BCD, C-DBT, CLC

Ultimately, the bottom line is that research shows intervention — at the very least in the form of therapy — should be strongly considered to control symptoms of depression in pregnant women. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling depressed and like you need help getting through your pregnancy. 

How much Prozac is safe to take during pregnancy?

When taken as directed by your doctor, many experts agree that low doses of Prozac during pregnancy is typically considered safe. In general, your doctor may advise against taking higher doses of any type of antidepressant drug, including Prozac, during pregnancy.

Because it’s difficult to answer the question conclusively, there isn’t an actual Prozac pregnancy dosage that’s recommended. Doctors should always evaluate the pros and cons of use before advising if Prozac and pregnancy is the best option for a pregnant woman.  

What does Prozac do to a fetus?

Many studies have been conducted to investigate the side effects of Prozac relating to pregnancy and the potential risk to fetuses in utero. However, results from these studies are mixed and inconclusive. 

Psychiatry and Prescriptions Online

Receive an evaluation and prescription for mental health medication (if needed) from a psychiatry-trained medical provider.

While most research to date has failed to find a pattern of abnormalities, some suggest that exposure to SSRIs like Fluoxetine might lead to an increased risk of heart conditions or other congenital disabilities, especially when exposure occurs in the stages of late pregnancy rather than early pregnancy. Additionally, some research finds that up to 25% – 30% of newborns exposed to SSRI medication late in gestation are born with symptoms of poor neonatal adaptation.

What if You’re Already Taking Prozac

If you were already taking an antidepressant like Prozac before becoming pregnant, do not discontinue use without consulting your healthcare provider first. Abruptly stopping any medication can cause more harm than good, both physically and mentally, due to Prozac withdrawal symptoms. 

If you’re concerned about Prozac and pregnancy, talk to your doctor as soon as possible — they can suggest a safe way to wean off the drug. Or, if they deem it necessary after assessing your condition, your doctor might recommend continuing use throughout pregnancy under their careful supervision.

“If you were already taking Prozac prior to finding out you were pregnant, it’s important to phone your prescriber and OB/GYN to discuss this. It can be unsafe to quit certain medications cold turkey, so if it’s necessary to discontinue your Prozac, it’s important to do so under the supervision of your doctor.”

Talkspace therapist Ashley Ertel, LCSW, BCD, C-DBT, CLC

Which is the Safest Antidepressant During Pregnancy?

There really isn’t one single “safest” antidepressant available to take during pregnancy. Every woman’s unique needs must be considered when determining which option would provide maximum benefit with minimal risk. These factors include severity of symptoms, higher risk/benefit ratio, past response to similar medications, family history, pre-existing conditions, and more.  

If you’re considering taking an antidepressant while pregnant but aren’t sure if Prozac is right for you, talk to your doctor. Other drugs — like Zoloft (Sertraline), Celexa (Citalopram), Lexapro (Escitalopram), or Wellbutrin SR/XL (bupropion) might be alternatives. 

These medications have all been studied extensively in both humans and animals. They’re considered generally safe options when taken under medical supervision throughout your pregnancy journey — from conception to delivery. Of course, like any medication taken while pregnant, there are risks involved with each of them. 

“It’s important to determine the best option for your circumstance only after discussing the risks and benefits with your prescriber. The risks of not treating depression during pregnancy can often outweigh the risks of medication use; however, this is a decision that should be made in conjunction with your healthcare professionals.”

Talkspace therapist Ashley Ertel, LCSW, BCD, C-DBT, CLC

Talk to a Psychiatrist to See If Prozac Is Right for You 

Ultimately, the decision to take Prozac during pregnancy is a personal one that should be discussed with your healthcare provider. While it may not be entirely risk-free, significant potential benefits can outweigh the risks for some women.   

Speak with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional before deciding on medication use while pregnant.


  1. Ajinkya S, Jadhav PR, Srivastava NN. Depression during pregnancy: Prevalence and obstetric risk factors among pregnant women attending a tertiary care hospital in Navi Mumbai. Industrial Psychiatry Journal. 2013;22(1):37. doi:10.4103/0972-6748.123615. Accessed February 7, 2023. 
  2. Depression. ACOG. Accessed February 7, 2023. 
  3. Curry SJ, Krist AH, Owens DK, et al. Interventions to prevent perinatal depression. JAMA. 2019;321(6):580. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0007. Accessed February 7, 2023. 
  4. Mother To Baby | Fact Sheets Fluoxetine (Prozac®) . Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. Accessed February 7, 2023. 
  5. Warburton W, Hertzman C, Oberlander TF. A register study of the impact of stopping third trimester selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure on neonatal health. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 2009;121(6):471-479. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01490.x. Accessed February 7, 2023. 

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

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