Lamictal & Pregnancy
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]

 


Q:  Lamictal & Pregnancy


Dear Dr. Phelps,

I suffer from Bipolar depression and have been taking Lamictal for 2 years now.  I am 40 years old.  I am thinking about getting pregnant.  Last year, I tried to taper off Lamictal, but got severely depressed again and have since gotten back to taking 200 mg Lamictal daily.

My question is: what are the risks of staying on Lamictal while pregnant?

Thanks,
Annette


Dear Annette -- 
Fair question.  Almost no data.  Here's a link to the "
lamotrigine pregnancy registry" maintained by the manufacturer, but your "healthcare provider" has to call them.  That database was cited by Dr. Lee Cohen, the Harvard "reproductive psychiatry" guru, a year ago when he said " The manufacturer of lamotrigine has a pregnancy registry, and preliminary data do not suggest that risk of malformations is increased when this drug is used as monotherapy, but it is too early to reach conclusions. "

A 2002 review concluded "risks for neonatal safety during lactation continue to appear substantial with lithium, are of potential concern with lamotrigine and clozapine, are quite likely minimal with valproate or carbamazepine, and are indeterminate with most other new anticonvulsants or atypical antipsychotics." 

I'm afraid that's about all we know -- not enough to say it's safe, but nothing clearly to indicate it's a terrible idea (except in principle when we know this little).  You might benefit from reading all the essays on this topic from the Harvard group, available at their "Women's Health Library". It will give you more background on this very complicated issue (complicated in terms of making a decision on the basis of very little information).  Good luck. 

Dr. Phelps
                        

Published October, 2003 

 

Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Owners: 
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan
 

Email Us at Bipolar World

 

About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?