Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Antipsychotics and unborn children

Little is known about the effects of exposure in the womb to antipsychotic drugs. The risks of antipsychotics in pregnancy are an important issue, since schizophrenia and bipolar disorder commonly have an onset in women during the reproductive years. A study of 108 mothers taking typical, atypical and no antipsychotics found that those taking atypical antipsychotics had larger babies. This can be a problem as excessively-large babies can cause vaginal lacerations, post-partum haemorrhages and a higher probability of emergency Caesareans in mothers and can themselves suffer from birth trauma, shoulder dystocia and foetal hypoxia and obesity and diabetes in later life. Those women taking older, typical antipsychotics had smaller than average babies which can also be a risk factor for problems in later life.

Newham, James J. ... [et al] - Birth weight of infants after maternal exposure to typical and atypical antipsychotics: prospective comparison study British Journal of Psychiatry May 2008, 192(5), 333-337

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