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Psychotropic medication in pregnancy

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To the Editor: The report by O’Donnell and colleagues on the increasing rate of mental illness in parents of infants highlights a very important issue and is consistent with overseas studies that suggest there is increasing use of psychotropic medication in pregnancy.1,2

To address the lack of information on the safety of psychotropic medication in pregnancy, particularly the safety of antipsychotics, we have established the National Register of Antipsychotic Medication in Pregnancy. Women are prospectively or retrospectively recruited to the register through referrals from health professionals or self-referral.3 So far, 237 women have consented to join the register. We continue to recruit women taking antipsychotics in pregnancy and pregnant women with mental illness who have elected not to take antipsychotic medication, from all over Australia.

Our data reveal that the women included on the register so far use antipsychotic medication during pregnancy for a wide range of disorders. This includes psychotic disorders (42.5% of those currently on the register), bipolar disorders (42%), depression (10%), anxiety disorders (3.5%), obsessive…