Risks / Safety of Psychotropic Medication use during Pregnancy

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Adrienne Einarson


Risks, Safety, Psychotropic Medication, Pregnancy


Psychiatric    disorders    are   relatively   common among women of childbearing age, who may be prescribed  psychotropic  drugs.  There  remains  a high level of anxiety regarding their safety among patients   and   healthcare   providers   alike,   most likely because of the conflicting studies that have been published in the literature and warnings from government organizations. Consequently, treating a psychiatric disorder during pregnancy with pharmacotherapy, is a complex decision making process, which has to be made between the pregnant woman and her health care provider. The objective of this brief review is to discuss the current models for studying the use of drugs in pregnancy and to provide current information  on  the  safety/risk  of  psychotropic drugs used in pregnancy. The body of evidence in the literature to date suggests that psychotropic drugs as a group are relatively safe to take during pregnancy and women and their health care providers should not be unduly concerned if a woman requires treatment. Optimal control of the psychiatric disorder should be maintained during pregnancy, the post partum period and thereafter. All pregnancies where a mother has a serious psychiatric  disorder  should  be  considered  high risk and the mother and fetus must be carefully monitored.

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