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Current Psychiatry Reports

, 21:114 | Cite as

Lithium Use and Non-use for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Bipolar Disorder

  • Alison HermannEmail author
  • Alyson Gorun
  • Abigail Benudis
Bipolar Disorders (R Hirschfeld, Section Editor)
  • 55 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Bipolar Disorders

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Despite being recognized as a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder, there is still inconsistent use of lithium in perinatal populations. This article will review data regarding lithium use during the peripartum and provide management recommendations for general psychiatric clinicians.

Recent Findings

In contrast to prior data, recent studies indicate that lithium use in pregnancy is associated with either no increased malformations risk or a small increase in risk for cardiac malformations including Ebstein’s anomaly. Limited data also show no significant effect on obstetric or neurodevelopmental outcomes. Data regarding infant lithium exposure via breastmilk remains limited.

Summary

Lithium is currently under-prescribed and is an important treatment for women with bipolar disorder in pregnancy and the postpartum. Clinicians must weigh the risk of lithium treatment versus the risk of withholding or changing lithium treatment when managing bipolar disorder in this population.

Keywords

Lithium Pregnancy Postpartum Psychosis Bipolar Breastfeeding 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Alyson Gorun and Abigail Benudis each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Alison Hermann has received personal fees from Sage Therapeutics and a co founder and CMO of Iris OB Health.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryWeill Cornell Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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