British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus guidance on the use of psychotropic medication preconception, in pregnancy and postpartum 2017

J Psychopharmacol. 2017 May;31(5):519-552. doi: 10.1177/0269881117699361. Epub 2017 Apr 25.


Decisions about the use of psychotropic medication in pregnancy are an ongoing challenge for clinicians and women with mental health problems, owing to the uncertainties around risks of the illness itself to mother and fetus/infant, effectiveness of medications in pregnancy and risks to the fetus/infant from in utero exposure or via breast milk. These consensus guidelines aim to provide pragmatic advice regarding these issues. They are divided into sections on risks of untreated illness in pregnancy; general principles of using drugs in the perinatal period; benefits and harms associated with individual drugs; and recommendations for the management of specific disorders.

Keywords: Antidepressants; antipsychotics; anxiolytics; birth defects; breastfeeding; child development; conception; fertility; hypnotics; mood stabilisers; neonatal problems; postpartum; pregnancy; pregnancy outcome; psychiatric illness; psychotropics; teratogenicity.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Postpartum Period / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychopharmacology / standards*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*


  • Psychotropic Drugs