Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-63

Unplanned pregnancies leading to psychotropic exposure in women with mental illness - Findings from a perinatal psychiatry clinic

Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Geetha Desai
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.94649

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Objective: The aims of this study were (a) to describe the sociodemographic and clinical profile of women with unplanned pregnancies and consequent exposure to psychotropic drugs, (b) to describe the nature and timing of psychotropic exposure during pregnancy among these women, and (c) to examine the outcome of decisions related to pregnancy following consultation at a perinatal psychiatric service. Materials and Methods: Women attending the perinatal psychiatry services referred for accidental exposure to psychotropics were assessed by structured interviews for the following details: sociodemographic details, clinical details, psychotropic drug use, advice given in the clinic, and outcome related to this advice. Results: Fifty-three women were referred for counseling related to unplanned pregnancies and consequential psychotropic exposure. Forty-two women (79%) sought consultation in the first trimester. More than a third of the women, 19 (36%), were taking more than one psychotropic medication during the first consultation. Only 11 (20%) women had received any form of prepregnancy counseling prior to becoming pregnant. Of the 37 women who came for follow-up in the clinic, 35 (94%) of them continued the pregnancy. Conclusions: Unplanned pregnancies in women with mental illness are common and result in exposure to multiple psychotropic medications during the first trimester. Majority of women did not report of having prepregnancy counseling and which needs to be an integral part of treatment and education.



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