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Archives for Pregnancy

Alternative Treatments

Depression: Have You Had Your Folate (Folic Acid) Levels Checked?

Research has long shown an association between low folate levels and depression, particularly depression that's more severe and less responsive to medical treatment. (Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin in its natural form. Folic acid is the synthetic version found in supplements.)

Folate is critical in the development of the human nervous system, so pregnant women must take folic acid supplements. People who abuse alcohol, people with certain illnesses, and those who take a...
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Bipolar Medication

Pregnancy Planning for Women with Bipolar Disorder

In a recent article published in Current Psychiatry Online, entitled "Treating bipolar disorder during pregnancy," assistant clinical professors of psychiatry at Stanford University Mytilee Vemuri, MD, MBA and Katherine Williams, MD provide an excellent summary of the risks and benefits associated with bipolar disorder and its treatment during women's reproductive years, particularly during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Their article offers detailed information about the relative risks of the most commonly prescribed medications,...
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Bipolar Research

Premenstrual Exacerbation May Be Linked to More Severe Form of Bipolar Disorder

February's online edition of The American Journal of Psychiatry contains an article entitled "Longitudinal Follow-Up of Bipolar Disorder in Women with Premenstrual Exacerbation: Findings from STEP-BD," by Dr. Rodrigo Dias and colleagues. The objective of their research was to shed light upon "the impact of hormonal fluctuation during the menstrual cycle on the course of bipolar disorder," frequency of relapse, and severity of symptoms.

The study followed 293 pre-menopausal-age women...
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Antipsychotic

FDA Update on the Use of Antipsychotics During Pregnancy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals that it has updated the Pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of antipsychotic drugs. The new drug labels now contain more and consistent information about the potential risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs or EPS) and withdrawal symptoms in newborns whose mothers were treated with these drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy.
For details,...
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Weighing the Risks of Using Psychiatric Drugs During Pregnancy

I recently noticed an article on the Web entitled "Psychotropic drugs can cause birth defects." The article reports that "Researchers at the University of Copenhagen (UC) have documented the serious side-effects that can be associated with these types of medications."

The trouble with articles like this is that they often cause unnecessary anguish and can be counterproductive in managing a healthy pregnancy while effectively treating psychiatric conditions of the expectant mother.
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