Antipsychotics in pregnancy
An article ‘Spotlight on antipsychotics in pregnancy’ by Anna Salleh in ABC ‘News in Science’ (ABC Online 29/05/2014) highlights the findings of a new pilot study.
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Co-authored by Professor Jayashri Kulkarni of Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre in Melbourne, the study findings suggest that pregnant women who take antipsychotic medication are at a higher risk of diabetes and their babies are more likely to need special medical attention.
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.
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.