Women who are currently or have recently been pregnant should be aware of a safety notice released by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2011. The notice was made to inform healthcare providers and patients that the FDA now considers antipsychotic drugs as potentially harmful to pregnant women and their unborn children.
The FDA reports a risk of abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs or EPS) in children whose mothers used antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy. The drugs could also cause newborns to experience withdrawal symptoms such as severe breathing problems, sleepiness and difficulties eating. The risk of these ailments is increased if the drug is used during the third trimester.
Some of the drugs added to the FDA’s list are Haldol, Clozaril, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Geodon, and Invega. For a full list, please go here.
The FDA stresses the important that pregnant women who are taking one or more of these drugs DO NOT abruptly stop taking the medicine as this can cause significant complications in treatment. If you have any concerns or are experiencing any serious side effects, you should contact your healthcare professional before making the decision to discontinue the drug.
When taking any drug during pregnancy, your healthcare provider should be aware of how different drugs react with each other and whether or not a drug might cause you to experience adverse effects. Unfortunately, drug companies do not always conduct tests regarding the safety of certain drugs on pregnant women. If a drug company fails to inform the FDA of known risks of a medication, or if a physician is negligent in prescribing potentially harmless medication for a pregnant woman, they may be liable for any harm which befalls an unborn child.
If you or your child has suffered due to medication taken during pregnancy, you should contact an experienced medical attorney who can look into your case and discuss your options with you.