• For Healthcare professionals

    The information provided on this website is intended for use by health professionals only. We update the website on a regular basis, so please continue to visit the site for more information, or join our mailing list for email updates.

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  • The PPMIS helpline

    If you have an enquiry regarding the use of psychotropic medicines in pregnancy and breastfeeding that cannot be answered by information on this website, please call (03) 8345 3190 to speak to us. Where appropriate, we may refer you to the Women’s Mental Health team.

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  • Medicine profiles for healthcare professionals

    Each medicine profile contains specific safety information about pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and postnatal psychotropic medicine use. One-page, easy to read fact sheets can be printed for patients following a consultation with health professionals.  

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The National Perinatal Depression Initiative

Research indicates that each year around one in ten Australian women experience depression during pregnancy and almost one in five experience depression in the weeks and months after giving birth.  If left untreated, this can have a negative impact on new mothers, their babies, families and friends, including relationship problems and difficulties bonding with children.  Many women who experience perinatal depression are not identified and so do not receive adequate support, placing them at risk of more serious problems. (from the framework document for the National Perinatal Depression Initiative 2008–2013).

PPMIS at the Royal Women’s Hospital is funded by Department of Health (DoH) as part of Victoria’s response to the National Perinatal Depression Initiative.

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Important Points to Consider Before Prescribing

Weighing up whether or not to prescribe psychotropic medication for your pregnant or breastfeeding patient is not a straightforward decision.  It can be fraught with concern and uncertainty around potential harmful medication effects on the pregnancy, fetus and infant; yet this must be balanced against the increasingly convincing evidence for the deleterious consequences of untreated maternal mental illness.  Each decision must be tailored to the individual patient and, where possible, include the father of the pregnancy in the decision-making.

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