The treatment of depression in pregnant women
After assessing and diagnosing a patient, PMHNPs must take into consideration special characteristics of the patient before determining an appropriate course of treatment. For pharmacological treatments that are not FDA-approved for a particular use or population, off-label use may be considered when the potential benefits could outweigh the risks.
In this Discussion, you will investigate a specific disorder and determine potential appropriate treatments for when it occurs in an older adult or pregnant woman.
Choose one of the two following specific populations: either pregnant women Then, select a specific disorder from the DSM-5-TR to use. Depression
Use the Walden Library to research evidence-based treatments for your selected disorder in your selected population ( pregnant women). You will need to recommend one FDA-approved drug, one non-FDA-approved “off-label” drug, and one nonpharmacological intervention for treating the disorder in that population.
Recommend one FDA-approved drug, one off-label drug, and one nonpharmacological intervention for treating your chosen disorder in older adults or pregnant women.
Explain the risk assessment you would use to inform your treatment decision making. What are the risks and benefits of the FDA-approved medicine? What are the risks and benefits of the off-label drug?
Explain whether clinical practice guidelines exist for this disorder, and if so, use them to justify your recommendations. If not, explain what information you would need to take into consideration.
Support your reasoning with at least three current, credible scholarly resources, one each on the FDA-approved drug, the off-label, and a nonpharmacological intervention for the disorder.
For the treatment of depression in pregnant women, an FDA-approved drug option is sertraline, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Sertraline has been shown to be safe and effective in treating depression during pregnancy, with minimal risk to the mother and fetus. However, it is important to note that SSRIs may increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal symptoms and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
An off-label drug option for pregnant women is the use of nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). Nortriptyline has been found to be effective in treating depression during pregnancy, but it is important to note that TCAs may increase the risk of congenital malformations.
A nonpharmacological intervention that can be used for treating depression in pregnant women is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been found to be effective in treating depression during pregnancy, and it does not carry any risks to the mother or fetus.
To inform treatment decision making, a risk assessment should consider the potential risks and benefits of each treatment option. The risks of sertraline include the potential for neonatal withdrawal symptoms and PPHN, while the benefits include its effectiveness in treating depression and its FDA-approval. The risks of nortriptyline include the potential for congenital malformations, while the benefits include its effectiveness in treating depression. The nonpharmacological intervention of CBT carries no risks, while the benefits include its effectiveness in treating depression.
Clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of depression in pregnant women do exist, such as those provided by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). These guidelines recommend the use of SSRIs, such as sertraline, as a first-line treatment for depression during pregnancy, due to their safety and effectiveness. However, they also recommend considering TCAs, such as nortriptyline, as a second-line treatment in cases where SSRIs are not effective or are not well-tolerated.
For the treatment of depression in pregnant women, an FDA-approved drug option is sertraline, an off-label drug option is nortriptyline, and a nonpharmacological intervention is cognitive behavioral therapy. A risk assessment should be conducted to consider the potential risks and benefits of each treatment option and clinical practice guidelines should be consulted when making treatment decisions.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2018). ACOG Committee Opinion No. 746: The use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and lactation. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 131(5), e135-e144.
American Psychiatric Association. (2010). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder, third edition. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(10 Suppl), 1-45.
Stowe ZN, Nemeroff CB. (2017). The pharmacologic management of depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(8), 731-744.