Monthly Archives: February 2008

Medication Changes During Pregnancy

At our clinic we have the opportunity to see patients at various stages of pregnancy. When we evaluate a patient while she is still in the planning stages, we may recommend changing medications to those that have a better studied safety profile during pregnancy and see how she does on those medications prior to conception. If that same patient came into our clinic for an evaluation, but was already pregnant, we may make different recommendations than if she was in the planning stages.

Fish Oil and Postpartum Depression

One treatment that has recently received a great deal of interest lately is fish oil. There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish and fish oil, including eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), have an antidepressant effect. It has been discovered that mothers selectively transfer DHA to their baby during pregnancy and through the breast milk to support neurological development in the developing child. Thus, child-bearing women may become depleted of DHA, and it has been hypothesized that DHA deficiency may make mothers more vulnerable to depression during the postpartum period.

Fertility and Antipsychotic Medications

Infertility is a problem which has gained increased attention over the past several decades. While many factors may contribute to infertility, some medications may also affect reproductive functioning and thus may have an impact on fertility. This post will focus on the antipsychotic drugs, which are now used to treat many psychiatric disorders other than schizophrenia, including insomnia, anxiety disorders, major depression and bipolar disorder.

Reproductive Age Women Need Folic Acid

A few weeks ago, January 7-13, 2008, was National Folic Acid Awareness Week at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), therefore we wanted to take the opportunity to remind women of the importance of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects. Folic acid can prevent from 50-70% of neural tube defects, which are defects of the spine (spina bifida) or the skull (anencephaly). Spina bifida is the leading cause of childhood paralysis and anencephaly is nearly always fatal.