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New Research from the CWMH: Prenatal Exposure to Atypical Antipsychotics Does Not Increase Risk of Malformations

The use of the newer “atypical” or second-generation antipsychotic agents continues to increase.  These medications are used to treat a spectrum of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, PTSD and anxiety disorders.  Although most of the women taking atypical antipsychotics are of childbearing age, our information on the reproductive safety of these newer […]

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Weekly Roundup for AUG 19 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

This week brings a large scale study on the reproductive safety of the newer atypical antipsychotic medications from Huybrechts and colleagues.  To date, this is the largest sample of antipsychotic-exposed infants assessed, and the results look good, suggesting that the use of atypical antipsychotics during the first trimester of pregnancy does not seem to increase […]

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Photo by Christoph Lehmann

In Brief: Bedtime Stretching Exercise May Help Menopausal Symptoms

Data regarding the use of exercise to alleviate menopausal symptoms in midlife women have been somewhat mixed.  Although helpful in some women, moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise may increase the risk of menopausal hot flashes.  A recent study suggests that light-intensity exercise, such as stretching may be helpful for menopausal symptoms.   Forty Japanese women were […]

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Weekly Roundup for AUG 12 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Several of this week’s articles look at the impact of maternal depression on the child.  In the Journal of Pediatrics, Braungart-Rieker and colleagues explore how postpartum depression leads to parenting practices and behaviors which may make children more vulnerable to early onset obesity.  In another study, Norwegian researchers observe that maternal depression during pregnancy and […]

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By Ragesoss - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Preliminary Study: Folic Acid Reduces Risk for Autism in Kids Prenatally Exposed to Antiepileptic Drugs

Several studies have observed that fetal exposure to the antiepileptic drug (AED), valproic acid (Depakote), may significantly increase the risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder.  In contrast, exposures to other AEDs, including carbamazepine (Tegretol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), and lamotrigine (Lamictal), have not been associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder […]

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Weekly Roundup for AUG 5 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

This week brings another report from the SWAN study of midlife women indicating that menopausal symptoms are heterogeneous, with a significant proportion of women experiencing symptoms for many years.  There is also a very good review (Alpar et al) detailing the effects on children exposed prenatally to cannabis. Body image mediates the depressive effects of […]

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Depression and Hormonal Contraception: Should Depo-Provera Be Used in Postpartum Women?

Because estrogen-containing contraceptives may affect lactation and may increase the risk of thrombosis, progestin-only contraceptives are used in women who are breastfeeding.  Depo-Provera (DMPA), which contains medroxyprogesterone, is frequently used during the immediate postpartum period in women who are breastfeeding and are interested in efficacious, long-term contraception.  (The minipill is another type of progestin-only contraceptive […]

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When It Comes to Pregnancy, Bad Timing May Be a Risk Factor for Depression

In early studies designed to identify specific risk factors for postpartum depression, unplanned pregnancy was identified as a relatively weak predictor of postpartum depression.  But there are many different types of unplanned pregnancy. For example, an unplanned but desired pregnancy is distinct from an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.  Or what about a pregnancy that is […]

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Weekly Roundup for JULY 29 2016: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

It’s a quiet week in the world of women’s mental health.  Good time to catch up on reading.   Behavioral outcomes in children exposed prenatally to lamotrigine, valproate, or carbamazepine. Deshmukh U, Adams J, Macklin EA, Dhillon R, McCarthy KD, Dworetzky B, Klein A, Holmes LB. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2016 Mar-Apr;54:5-14. Role of emotional processing in […]

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By Ragesoss - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

You Asked: What Dose of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women Taking Lamotrigine (Lamictal)?

In our community of perinatal psychiatrists, we have recently seen many questions regarding the use of folic acid supplementation in women taking lamotrigine (Lamictal).  While all recognize that all women of childbearing age should receive folic acid supplementation, there is considerable variation regarding the dose that should be recommended for women taking lamotrigine (Lamictal). Folic […]

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