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Lithium and pregnancy

  • Kelwyn Williams (a1) and Sarah Oke (a2)
Extract

The lifetime prevalence of bipolar affective disorder is approximately 1% in both men and women (Reiger et al, 1998). In women the illness is most prevalent in the child-bearing years (Robins et al, 1984). While lithium for the treatment of bipolar disorder is a cornerstone of modern psychopharmacology (Llewellyn et al, 1998), there are inherent problems in treating this sizeable subgroup of patients, as lithium presents small, but significant, risks to a potential foetus. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that serious mental illness poses a risk to the unborn child. This paper reviews those risks, presents a protocol in algorithmic form for dealing with the prescription of lithium in pregnancy and discusses practical issues pertaining to dosage and lithium monitoring.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Lithium and pregnancy

  • Kelwyn Williams (a1) and Sarah Oke (a2)
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