Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Archive | General

Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) and Pregnancy: Do We Have Enough Information?

  Last week in clinical rounds we discussed a case of a woman with bipolar disorder who was planning a pregnancy.  She had a long history of illness, experiencing primarily depressive episodes since her early 20’s.  The only mood stabilizer that seems to have worked for her has been oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) and she is currently […]

Continue Reading · 0

Lamotrigine Reduces Risk for Postpartum Relapse in Women with Bipolar Disorder

Numerous studies have demonstrated that women with histories of bipolar disorder are at high risk for postpartum illness.  Because of this increased risk for relapse during the postpartum period, we typically recommend that women with histories of bipolar disorder continue treatment with a mood stabilizer throughout the postpartum period.  Historically, lithium has been the most […]

Continue Reading · 0

In Unsettling Times: How to Talk to Your Children About Traumatic Events

Earlier this week, a deadly explosion erupted at an arena in Manchester, England, where the American pop singer Ariana Grande was performing.  One of the most horrifying aspects of the Manchester bombing is that this act of terrorism seemed to target women and children.  Among the injured and dead are young women, children and teens, […]

Continue Reading · 0

Pilot Study of Telephone-Delivered Interpersonal Therapy for Women with Postpartum Depression

It is clear that screening for perinatal depression substantially improves detection; however, screening alone does not appear to improve rates of treatment or outcomes.  What we find is that many, if not most, women with perinatal depression do not receive adequate care.  There appear to be many obstacles: stigma associated with mental illness, lack of […]

Continue Reading · 0
Credit: Pregnant Woman from Wikimedia Commons

Why Are We Still Using Valproic Acid (Depakote) in Women of Childbearing Age?

  There have long been concerns regarding the use of the anticonvulsant valproate (Depakote) during pregnancy.  First trimester use of valproate has been associated with a 3-5% risk of neural tube defects, as well as an increased risk of other malformations affecting the heart, limbs, and genitals. Prenatal exposure to valproate may also result in […]

Continue Reading · 0

In Brief: High Rates of Marijuana Use in Pregnant Teens

According to data from the 2002-2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the prevalence of marijuana use was 3.8% in pregnant women (n=14,400), compared to 7.5% in nonpregnant women (n=395,600).   The investigators observed that marijuana use was higher in the first trimester (6.4%) than in the second (3.3%) or third (1.8%) trimesters.  Marijuana use […]

Continue Reading · 0

Brexanolone: Related to Allopregnanolone, Effective for the Treatment of Postpartum Depression

In 2015, we first reported on SAGE-547 (SAGE Therapeutics), a new medication for the treatment of severe postpartum depression.  SAGE-547, now called brexanolone, is an allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors.  This drug was initially under investigation for the treatment of refractory seizure disorders but it turned out to be a good antidepressant.  The information we […]

Continue Reading · 0

Lamotrigine and Pregnancy: Meta-Analysis Shows No Increase in Risk for Malformations

  Maintenance treatment with a mood stabilizer during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of relapse in women with bipolar disorder; however, many of the mood stabilizers commonly used in this setting, including lithium and valproic acid, carry some degree of teratogenic risk. In contrast, lamotrigine (Lamictal) appears to be a much safer option for […]

Continue Reading · 0