Monthly Archives: February 2002

Venlafaxine for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is relatively common, occurring in about 10 to 15% of women after delivery. Several reports have documented the efficacy of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) sertraline, fluoxetine, and fluvoxamine for the treatment of this disorder. In a recent report, Cohen and colleagues have demonstrated the efficacy of venlafaxine for the treatment of PPD.

Lithium Discontinuation While Attempting to Conceive

For women with bipolar disorder who are planning a pregnancy, it is common practice to discontinue mood stabilizers prior to attempts to conceive, since the mood stabilizers most commonly used to treat bipolar disorder (lithium, valproic acid, and carbamazepine) all carry some risk of birth defect. The problem with this approach is that, after discontinuation of maintenance treatment, a woman is at very high risk for relapse. The longer it takes to get pregnant and the longer she remains off medication, the greater is her risk for having recurrent illness.