Psychotropic Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
Accurate prediction of fetal/neonatal risks following maternal psychotropic drug consumption by the human will require much additional study. Based upon our present understanding of fetal exposure to psychotropic drugs, there would appear to be an increased risk for spontaneous malformations in the case of lithium. There have been inconsistent reports of structural abnormalities following exposure to phenothiazines and benzodiazepines. In animal models that demonstrate structural changes due to neuroleptic exposure, in general, extremely large dosages of medication had been given. Thus, their correlative value is limited.
Behavioral alterations in animals following drug exposure during pregnancy tend to support increased concerns about the safety of psychotropic drugs for the fetus but cannot be used alone in making a final decision. Behavioral studies evaluating drugs in breast milk have been restricted to experimental animals; hence, the associated risks from this form of drug dosing in man remain unknown. At present, neither gross anatomic nor motor side effects have been apparent in the infant. The question of the development of subtle behavioral changes as a long-term consequence will remain undetermined until careful assessments have been completed.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics