Adverse Effects in the Pharmacologic Management of Bipolar Disorder During Pregnancy

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2016 Sep;39(3):465-75. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2016.04.007. Epub 2016 Jun 23.


Management of bipolar disorder during pregnancy often involves medications with potential adverse effects, including risks to the mother and fetus. Although some specifics are known, many medications continue to have incompletely characterized reproductive safety profiles. Women with bipolar disorder who are planning pregnancy face challenging decisions about their treatment; careful risk-benefit discussions are necessary. With the goal of further informing these discussions, this article reviews the data currently available regarding medication safety in the management of bipolar disorder during pregnancy, with specific attention to lithium, valproic acid, lamotrigine, carbamazepine, and antipsychotic medications.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Anticonvulsant; Antipsychotic; Bipolar disorder; Lithium; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimanic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*


  • Antimanic Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents