Pregnancy outcomes after first-trimester exposure to buspirone: prospective longitudinal outcomes from the MGH National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2022 Oct;25(5):923-928. doi: 10.1007/s00737-022-01250-8. Epub 2022 Jul 16.


Buspirone is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders among reproductive-aged women. To date, the reproductive safety of buspirone in humans has been particularly sparse. We sought to provide preliminary data from the Massachusetts General Hospital National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications (NPRPM) on the risk of major malformations after first-trimester buspirone exposure. The NPRPM enrolls pregnant women with psychiatric disorders to prospectively assess for major congenital malformations after in utero exposure to psychotropics. Women are interviewed twice during pregnancy and once at 12 weeks postpartum. Data regarding women who took buspirone during the first trimester were extracted from the NPRPM database. Data were assessed as a rigorously ascertained case series to determine the incidence of major malformations among those exposed to buspirone. The primary outcome was obtained by maternal postpartum interview and medical record review. As of January 6, 2022, N = 97 women enrolled in the registry took buspirone during their first trimester. Of these women, 68 were evaluable and eligible for this analysis. Four women had twins, resulting in 72 infants. Among this sample, there were no malformations present. These preliminary data represent the only prospectively ascertained sample of pregnancy outcomes after first-trimester buspirone exposure. Albeit a small sample, no major malformations were observed in this cohort. The rigorous prospective ascertainment of outcomes is a strength of this study. Future analyses are planned that will include larger numbers of women with exposures to buspirone and comparison with control groups matched for demographic and diagnostic variables.

Keywords: Anxiety; Buspar; Buspirone; Perinatal psychiatry; Pregnancy; Psychopharmacology.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced* / etiology
  • Adult
  • Buspirone / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries


  • Buspirone