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Review
. 2014 Dec;14(12):1377-90.
doi: 10.1586/14737175.2014.972373. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Electroconvulsive Treatment During Pregnancy: A Systematic Review

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Review

Electroconvulsive Treatment During Pregnancy: A Systematic Review

Maurizio Pompili et al. Expert Rev Neurother. .

Abstract

Pharmacological treatment of severe psychiatric disorders during pregnancy is complicated by the potential harmful effects of treatment for the fetus. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of several mental disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the safety of ECT in the treatment of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy; to compare its efficacy with medication; and to identify the main indications for use in pregnancy. We performed a careful and systematic review of the literature on ECT and pregnancy was conducted. Almost all patients demonstrated total or at least partial remission of symptoms after ECT treatment. No deaths were reported in ECT-treated pregnant women. We conclude that ECT is probably currently under-used in many psychiatric settings because of its stigmatized perception by patients and by mental health professionals. ECT seems to be effective for treating major psychiatric disorders during pregnancy, and the risks of adverse events are low.

Keywords: ECT; pregnancy; psychiatric disorders; psychopharmacology; side effect.

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