Author(s): Patton SW, Misri S, Corral MR, Perry KF, Kuan AJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To review studies investigating the following: whether exposing developing infants to antipsychotic medication during pregnancy and lactation is associated with increased risks of teratogenic, neonatal, and long-term neurobehavioural sequelae; whether schizophrenia itself affects pregnancy outcome; and whether the course of schizophrenia symptoms is altered by pregnancy and lactation. METHOD: We summarize the results from articles identified via a MedLine search for the period January 1, 1966, to December 1, 2001. RESULTS: Women with schizophrenia are at increased risk for poor obstetrical outcomes, including preterm delivery, low birth weight, and neonates who are small for their gestational age. A lack of information in the literature makes it difficult to comment on the relative risk of exposing developing infants to atypical antipsychotics. However, typical antipsychotics appear to carry an increased risk of congenital malformations when the fetus is exposed to phenothiazines during weeks 4 to 10 of gestation. Lack of information also precludes an understanding of whether changes associated with pregnancy and lactation significantly alter the course of schizophrenia symptoms. CONCLUSION: Research is needed so that physicians may more accurately inform women about the relative risks of using antipsychotic medications during pregnancy and lactation. Increased knowledge about the risks of medication exposure will allow clinicians to limit treatment to situations in which the risk of untreated maternal illness outweighs the risk of exposing a developing infant to medications.
This article was published in Can J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy