Psychotropic Drugs in Pregnancy

  • Lawrence L. Kerns
  • Gilla P. Davis


Pregnancy is frequently complicated by the development or recurrence of a serious mental disorder; neurotic, major affective, and psychotic illnesses have all been observed1–4. When a major mental disorder arises in a pregnant woman and threatens her life, health, or that of the fetus, it should be treated early and aggressively to minimize complications and forestall the advance of the disease. Nonbiologic methods like individual psychotherapy, couples or family therapy, social casework, and hospitalization in a supportive, structured milieu should form the first line of treatment. If the illness persists in spite of nonbiological interventions, and if the risks of the inadequately treated disease outweigh the risks associated with a potentially useful medication, then a trial of that medication is clearly indicated.


Bipolar Disorder Antipsychotic Drug Psychotropic Drug Prenatal Exposure Teratogenic Effect 
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© MTP Press Limited 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence L. Kerns
  • Gilla P. Davis

There are no affiliations available

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