Reproductive safety of aripiprazole: data from the Massachusetts General Hospital National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2021 Aug;24(4):659-667. doi: 10.1007/s00737-021-01115-6. Epub 2021 Mar 12.


Aripiprazole has become one of the most commonly prescribed psychotropics, making a more comprehensive understanding of its reproductive safety profile a priority. The goal of the current analysis was to determine the risk of major malformations in infants exposed during the first trimester of pregnancy to aripiprazole compared to infants whose mothers had psychiatric diagnoses but did not use an atypical antipsychotic during pregnancy. The National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics is a prospective pharmacovigilance program in which pregnant women are enrolled and interviewed during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Medical records are assessed to confirm presence or absence of major malformations. Pregnant women ages 18-45 with psychiatric diagnoses are enrolled. As of April 2020, N = 848 women who had delivered infants were eligible for analyses. A total of 158 women with first trimester exposure to aripiprazole were compared to 690 controls. For 163 infants born to women in the exposed group, seven major malformations were confirmed (4.29%), compared to fourteen of the 690 unexposed infants (1.99%). The unadjusted odds ratio for major malformations between aripiprazole-exposed and unexposed infants was 2.21 (95% confidence interval [CI] = (0.88, 5.57) The adjusted odds ratio for major malformations was 1.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] = (0.43, 4.20). After adjustment for confounding variables, the risk of major malformations after first trimester exposure to aripiprazole was not significant compared to controls. While these results are reassuring, they are limited by relatively small numbers of participants. Future analyses with larger numbers are expected to provide more of a complete and precise reproductive safety profile regarding aripiprazole use during pregnancy. Trial registration: NCT01246765.

Keywords: Abilify; Aripiprzole; Atypical antipsychotic; Perinatal psychiatry; Pregnancy; Psychopharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Aripiprazole / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Aripiprazole

Associated data