Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 135–136 | Cite as

Psychopharmacology of bipolar I disorder during lactation: a case report of the use of lithium and aripiprazole in a nursing mother

  • Julia R. Frew
Letter to the editor

Mothers with bipolar disorder who wish to breastfeed are faced with difficult decisions about the use of mood-stabilizing medication during lactation. The use of lithium during lactation has been traditionally discouraged. More recently, data published by Viguera et al. (2007) and Bogen et al. (2012) have suggested that serum lithium levels in nursing infants are low and well-tolerated and that women taking lithium can be supported to breastfeed, although infant monitoring of serum lithium level, electrolytes, and thyroid and renal functions is advised. Little information is available about the use of the newer atypical antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole, in lactation (LactMed 2013).

This case illustrates a higher than previously reported lithium level in a nursing infant, which resulted in the mother switching from lithium to an atypical antipsychotic for mood stabilization (initially quetiapine, then aripiprazole). Low-dose aripiprazole was associated with markedly decreased breast...


Lithium Bipolar Disorder Quetiapine Aripiprazole Lithium Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA

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