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Medical News & Perspectives
October 5, 2005

Risks and Benefits Key to Psychotropic Use During Pregnancy and Postpartum Period

JAMA. 2005;294(13):1604-1608. doi:10.1001/jama.294.13.1604

Women with mood and anxiety disorders commonly avoid taking psychotropic medications while they are attempting to conceive or while they are pregnant or breastfeeding, for fear of harming their infants. Physicians balk at prescribing medications for these women for the same reason.

But not receiving effective treatment for an active psychiatric illness while pregnant or nursing poses dangers too. Mood and anxiety disorders may hamper a woman’s ability to take care of herself and her infant, impairing the infant’s development in utero and after birth.