What happens if you take lithium while pregnant?

Can lithium cause birth defects?

New York—The largest-ever study of birth defects in babies exposed to lithium found an elevated risk of major congenital malformations in fetuses after first-trimester exposure to the mental health drug.

Should lithium be stopped in pregnancy?

If a woman taking lithium becomes pregnant, consider stopping the medicine gradually over 4 weeks if she is well. Explain to her that: stopping medication may not remove the risk of fetal heart malformations. there is a risk of relapse, particularly in the postnatal period, if she has bipolar disorder.

Can taking lithium cause a miscarriage?

The rate of miscarriage was 16.4% in lithium-exposed pregnancies, versus 8.3% in the bipolar disorder comparison group, and 5.7% in nonteratogenic-exposed pregnancies.

Do babies withdraw from lithium?

Furthermore, the lack of continued sleep during puerperium might also increase the risk of maternal relapse. Lithium is excreted into breast milk and the elimination rate in infants is lower than in adults, which may cause higher exposure levels in infants.

What bipolar meds are safe during pregnancy?

Data for lamotrigine (LTG) appears to be more favorable than other antiepileptics. During lactation, use of valproate and LTG is reported to be safe. Use of typical and/atypical antipsychotic is a good option during pregnancy in women with bipolar disorder.

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Which is the safest mood stabilizer during pregnancy?

Lamotrigine has been recognized as the overall safest mood stabilizer when both maternal and fetal complications are reviewed.

What can I take instead of lithium during pregnancy?

“Over the past couple of decades, lamotrigine has increasingly been used during pregnancy as an alternative treatment option to lithium, due to its more favorable reproductive profile,” wrote the current authors.

Should a bipolar woman have a baby?

Most women with bipolar disorder have a healthy pregnancy and baby, but there are some risks to be aware of. You may become unwell during your pregnancy, but the risk is higher after you give birth. Women with bipolar disorder are more likely to get: postnatal depression.

What pregnancy category is lithium?

Safety of Psychiatric Medications During Pregnancy and Lactation

Drug FDA pregnancy category*
Lamotrigine (Lamictal) C
Lithium D
Valproic acid (Depakene) D

Does lithium make it harder to get pregnant?

No. Lithium does not affect fertility in women1 and so taking Lithium should not make it more difficult to get pregnant.

Does lithium cross the placenta?

Lithium crosses the human placenta freely [2] and affects vasculature formation in the fetus [4]. Because the majority of vasculature forms during the first trimester, lithium affects the development of the fetus most in the first trimester [7].

Can you take antidepressants while pregnant?

Generally, these antidepressants are an option during pregnancy: Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are generally considered an option during pregnancy, including citalopram (Celexa) and sertraline (Zoloft). Potential complications include maternal weight changes and premature birth.

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