After a woman has been diagnosed as being bipolar there are a myriad of emotions she may feel. It takes a while to adjust to the diagnosis and get accustomed to any medications your doctor may prescribe to you. One of the most common concerns amongst women who are diagnosed as being bipolar is what her options will be regarding her bipolar medication if she chooses or happens to become pregnant. Here is a look at some options she may explore if she finds herself in this situation.
While there are some bipolar medications that can pose a risk to the unborn baby it is imperative that a bipolar woman understand that she not immediately quit taking her medication if she finds herself pregnant. If a woman suspects she is pregnant she should immediately call her doctor and explain the situation and get an appointment to discuss her options. There are certain bipolar medications that can have worse repercussions should a woman just decide to quit taking them suddenly.
Once you have scheduled your doctor’s appointment and go to see them they will likely take a look at the type of bipolar medication you are on and what sort of risks it poses to your unborn baby. Some of the more common bipolar medications such as Lithium pose a smaller risk to unborn children than some of the other medications on the market. If you are on this type of medication he or she may just have you maintain your normal dosage throughout pregnancy. Your doctor may also recommend that you be switched to another first-generation anti-psychotic medication. If however you are on other types of bipolar medications such as Depakote or Tegretol your doctor will likely try other options. Tegratol is only to be taken if the woman suffers from a more severe case and Depakote has been known to have harmful effects to unborn children so pregnant women should think seriously about the complications and risks that can be involved with continuing taking it. If there are no other options doctors may recommend that the pregnant woman take the Depakote with Vitamin K to help reduce the chance of certain conditions that may affect the baby’s face or head.
It is important to note that there are psychotropics or bipolar medications that pose NO risks to unborn children. Most of those are classified as a class “C” or “D”. This is a special rating system the FDA uses to determine if a certain medication may harm an unborn child. Class “C” is better than “D” so your doctor may recommend certain medications that fall in this class.
Once you and your doctor have discussed what your options are and planned out what the best plan for you and your unborn child is you can then move on to enjoy your pregnancy and look forward to parenthood.