Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows

Date:
June 2, 2014
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
A seven-year study of women who take antipsychotic medication while pregnant, proves it can affect babies. The observational study reveals that while most women gave birth to healthy babies, the use of mood stabilizers or higher doses of antipsychotics during pregnancy increased the need for special care after birth with 43 per cent of babies placed in a Special Care Nursery or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, almost three times the national rate in Australia.

A seven-year study of women who take antipsychotic medication while pregnant, proves it can affect babies.

Related Articles


The observational study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, reveals that whilst most women gave birth to healthy babies, the use of mood stabilisers or higher doses of antipsychotics during pregnancy increased the need for special care after birth with 43 per cent of babies placed in a Special Care Nursery (SCN) or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), almost three times the national rate in Australia.

As well as an increased likelihood of the need for intensive care, the world-first study by experts from the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) and Monash University, shows antipsychotic drugs affects babies in other ways; 18 per cent were born prematurely, 37 per cent showed signs of respiratory distress and 15 per cent developed withdrawal symptoms.

Principal investigator, Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Director of MAPrc, said the study highlights the need for clearer health guidelines when antipsychotic drugs are taken during pregnancy.

"There's been little research on antipsychotic medication during pregnancy and if it affects babies. The lack of data has made it very difficult for clinicians to say anything conclusively on how safe it is for babies," Professor Kulkarni said.

"This new research confirms that most babies are born healthy, but many experience neonatal problems such as respiratory distress."

With no existing data to draw on, MAPrc established the world-first National Register of Antipsychotic Medications in Pregnancy (NRAMP) in 2005. Women who were pregnant and taking antipsychotic medication were recruited from around Australia through clinical networks in each state and territory. In all 147 women were interviewed every six weeks during pregnancy and then followed until their babies were one year old.

Antipsychotic drugs are currently used to treat a range of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder. About 20 per cent of Australian women experience depression in their lifetime, compared to 10 per cent of men. In Australia 25 per cent of women experience postnatal depression and 20 per cent experience severe menopausal depression.

Women have much higher rates of anxiety disorders and there are equal percentages of men and women with schizophrenia (2 per cent) and bipolar disorder (about 3 per cent).

Professor Kulkarni said the emergence of new antipsychotic drugs means that many women with a well controlled psychiatric disorder are able to contemplate having babies, but there have always been concerns about the effect of treatment on their offspring.

"The potentially harmful effects of taking an antipsychotic drug in pregnancy have to be balanced against the harm of untreated psychotic illness. The good news is we now know there are no clear associations with specific congenital abnormalities and these drugs," Professor Kulkarni said.

"However clinicians should be particularly mindful of neonatal problems such as respiratory distress, so it's critical that Neonatal Intensive Care Units, or Special Care Nurseries are available for these babies."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jayashri Kulkarni, Roisin Worsley, Heather Gilbert, Emorfia Gavrilidis, Tamsyn E. Van Rheenen, Wei Wang, Kay McCauley, Paul Fitzgerald. A Prospective Cohort Study of Antipsychotic Medications in Pregnancy: The First 147 Pregnancies and 100 One Year Old Babies. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (5): e94788 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094788

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602101607.htm>.
Monash University. (2014, June 2). Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602101607.htm
Monash University. "Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602101607.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins