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Treating Schizophrenia during and following Pregnancy

The following treatment guidelines are meant as a reference tool only, and are not intended as treatment advice or to replace the clinical decision-making process of psychiatrists or other health professionals who administer these treatments. In clinical practice there are often good reasons why treatment approaches differ from what is described here.


As much as possible, people with Schizophrenia should plan their pregnancies carefully so that unsafe medications can be discontinued in a timely but gradual fashion, and that adequate social supports can be made available for expecting mothers with Schizophrenia.

Pregnancy should only be considered when the women's symptoms of Schizophrenia are well controlled.  In-depth psychoeducation and intensive case-management should be offered in these situations. Women with severe psychotic symptoms or prominent negative symptoms and cognitive deficits may face serious limitations in their ability to care for a child adequately, and in such cases a youth protection agency should be notified in order to offer adequate support for the mother and child.

Regarding medications, Haloperidol, a Typical Antipsychotic, is considered to be safe during pregnancy [ref].  Atypical Antipsychotics and Clozapine have only limited data regarding their safety in pregnancy [ref].   Lamotrigine might be safe during pregnancy; Valproic Acid is to be avoided [ref]. 


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Treating Depression that occurs in Schizophrenia

Treating Negative Symptoms