About the Perinatal Psychotropic Medicine Information Service

What is PPMIS?

PPMIS provides up-to-date, evidence based and peer-reviewed information on the use of psychotropic medicines in the peri and post natal period through a website and a telephone helpline. This website contains medicine profiles, summaries of individual psychotropic medicines along with articles on congenital malformation, pregnancy and neonatal outcomes and postnatal and breastfeeding information; patient medicine information fact sheets to answer frequently asked questions and links to other resources.

The PPMIS helpline is available to answer enquiries from healthcare professionals  about prescribing psychotropic medicines in pregnancy and breastfeeding. In exceptionally complex  cases, we may refer healthcare professionals to the Royal Women’s Mental Health team.

PPMIS is governed by an advisory group consisting of perinatal psychiatrists, general practitioners, researchers, pharmacists and non-government organisation/consumer representatives.  This advisory group enhances leadership and governance, promoting  consensus, sound guidelines and good practice.

Terms of Reference (updated July 2013)


With the support of the Department of Health (DH), the PPMIS Advisory Group will:

  • advise on the information provided on the web page to promote the value of the PPMIS to the user – consider information to health care professionals versus the general public
  • review material developed and provide feedback prior to material being added to website to ensure content reflects the best available evidence
  • provide a forum for discussion when evidence about use or adverse effects of medications is not definitive in order to develop concensus guidelines
  • monitor use of the webpage and feedback received
  • provide a forum for discussion on future directions and enhancements to this service



The chairperson and members are invited and appointed by the Royal Women’s Hospital Pharmacy Department in consultation with the Perinatal Program Advisor, Mental Health, Drugs and Regions Division, Department of Health.



Meetings are generally held every 6 months. Meetings will be held at the Royal Women’s Hospital, corner of Grattan Street and Flemington Road in Parkville (Melways Map 2B A7) and convened by the Royal Women’s Hospital Pharmacy Department. Secretariat support for these meeting to be provided by the Royal Women’s Hospital.



The quorum exists with a minimum number of 6 members including the Chairperson.


Next TOR Review

Upon confirmation of a signed Commonwealth/State Project Agreement for an extended National Perinatal Depression Initiative to 30 June 2017.


The National Perinatal Depression Initiative

Key Elements of the Initiative

These are:

  • routine and universal screening for perinatal depression;
  • follow up support and care for women assessed as being at risk of or experiencing perinatal depression;
  • workforce training and development for health professionals;
  • research and data collection;
  • national guidelines for screening for perinatal depression; and
  • community awareness.

For the purpose of this Initiative, the perinatal period is defined as the pregnancy period and the first year after childbirth.

State and Territory Governments

State and Territory Governments will collaborate in the development of a national approach to perinatal depression and implementation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative in individual jurisdictions in accordance with local needs and priorities.

In addition to the funding to be provided to jurisdictions by the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments will also contribute up to $30 million in funding to supplement the roll out of routine and universal screening, support services, and training for health professionals.

beyondblue’s Perinatal Mental Health National Action Planwill provide a point of reference to support activities and help to guide the development of jurisdictional investment plans.

Routine screening

National clinical practice guidelines for perinatal mental health, which will include screening guidelines for perinatal depression, are currently being developed by beyondblue through the National Health and Medical Research Council.  These guidelines are expected to be available in early 2010.


GiottoPress by Enrique Chavez