Posted by: Peta | 2008/06/13

Lithium, abilify and pregnancy

hi there

I am bipolar and 22wk pregnant. my shrink has suggested that i go back on meds as i am "cycling" at the moment between highs and lows. he has suggested lithium and abilify.

i have done some research on internet about abilify and it says it is not safe in pregnancy - do you have comment or new views on that?

also, it says that lithium can cause "floppy baby syndrome" in babies at birth. what is that and is it something i need to be concerned about.

i am really not feeling well at all, very depressed and extremely annoyed, irritable etc but i am not willing to take anything that can harm my little boy.

Please advise.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I have no experience with Abilify and pregnancy. I do know from long experience, that few if any drug companies will advise that their drug IS safe to take in pregnancy, even if there is no significant evidence of serious problems --- because they wouldn't want to be held liable if there were problems. Lithium I would be cautious about using, but wouldn't rule it out. One of the issues is to weigh up the small risks from some drugs ( ruling out a few drugs where the risks are always unacceptably high ) against the equally real risks of untreated illness such as serious bipolar problems, which can itself be a problem for the foetus.
I think, because he ought to know enough about you and your condition AND the risks of the drugs he prescribes, you should urgently discuss this in detail with the prescribing shrink ; and also ask for a second upinion from a second shrink, to get this clear, and make a wise decision, in the best interests of yourself and your child

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: just another girl | 2008/06/13

Peta I was told years ago that its unwise to take lithium during pregnancy or even while you were trying to fall pregnant it wasn't safe at all. Not sure what the current findings are. My view, is better safe than sorry....

Will counselling not help you at this time....its difficult because your hormones are fluctuating as well, being pregnant is not the easiest of times but then you do not have that long to go, so would it be possible to "hang in there" this your first pregnancy or do you have other child/ren.

Its an enormous risk I think. There are some Drs who believe taking anything in the first trimester is bad but some things can be taken thereafter. If you think of it anything you eat, drink etc. goes through your bloodstream and crosses the if smoking and alcohol are bad for your baby, imagine what drugs can do....its an unknown and who wants to experiment...its a human life out there developing inside of you....

I would suggest you get a second and even third opinion...try not to take anything that may harm your unborn baby!

Congratulations by the way.

Reply to just another girl

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