Use of Antipsychotic Drugs During Pregnancy

Hannah K. Betcher*, Catalina Montiel, Crystal T. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Antipsychotics are frequently prescribed to women of childbearing age and are increasingly prescribed during pregnancy. A small, but growing, body of research on implications for pregnancy and infant outcomes is available to inform the risks and benefits of in utero exposure to antipsychotics. This review examines the existing published research on the use of common typical and atypical antipsychotics in pregnancy and the implications for pregnancy and infant outcomes. Recent findings: The majority of studies do not show associations with major malformations and antipsychotic use in pregnancy, with the possible exception of risperidone. There is concern that atypical antipsychotics may be associated with gestational diabetes. Metabolic changes during pregnancy may necessitate dose adjustments. Summary: In general, it is recommended that women who need to take an antipsychotic during pregnancy continue the antipsychotic that has been most effective for symptom remission. Further study on risperidone is needed to better understand its association with malformations, and it is not considered a first-line agent for use during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-31
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Antipsychotic
  • Breastfeeding
  • Lactation
  • Neuroleptic
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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