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Question
Posted by: ZAP | 2010-05-13

Pregnancy &  Bipolar

Hi

My wife &  I were overjoyed yesterday when her psychiatrist expressed her satisfaction regarding my wife progress after a severe relapse in 2008 and the fact that she was willing to wean my wife off her meds so that we could work on extending our family.

We are however concerned about how long it takes for the meds to work out of her system sufficiently enough not to cause the baby harm. We have heard that it takes 3 months but her psychiatrist suggests 6 weeks. What is the correct timeframe?

For the record, my wife is on Camcolit, serequill &  wellbutrin.

Thanks,

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Her psychiatrist should know best, from depth of experience of managing your wife's medications. The question is quite complex - the meds vary in how rapidly they leave the system, amd as you correctly ask, the issue is not when is there no trace of a med left, but when is the level so low as to be likely to have no ill-effects on a growing foetus. And there's another issue - the effects of different meds are different at different stages of a pregnancy, less worrying at some times than at others. And one wants to weight the potential risk to a foetus from different meds( fortunately not very high ) against the risk to the foetus of a major depressive or manuc episode in a person withou medication. Fortunately, unless the illness has been typically highly unstable, with very sudden swings into depressions of manic spells that were very difficult to get under control, even should such an episode start to emerge during pregnancy, the shrink could start treatment with a medication least likely to cause problems, if and when such a situation arose.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-05-13

Her psychiatrist should know best, from depth of experience of managing your wife's medications. The question is quite complex - the meds vary in how rapidly they leave the system, amd as you correctly ask, the issue is not when is there no trace of a med left, but when is the level so low as to be likely to have no ill-effects on a growing foetus. And there's another issue - the effects of different meds are different at different stages of a pregnancy, less worrying at some times than at others. And one wants to weight the potential risk to a foetus from different meds( fortunately not very high ) against the risk to the foetus of a major depressive or manuc episode in a person withou medication. Fortunately, unless the illness has been typically highly unstable, with very sudden swings into depressions of manic spells that were very difficult to get under control, even should such an episode start to emerge during pregnancy, the shrink could start treatment with a medication least likely to cause problems, if and when such a situation arose.

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