We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Is It Safe to Use Antipsychotics in Pregnancy?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Antipsychotics are medications used to treat mental health disorders such as bipolar I and bipolar II disorder, as well as schizophrenia. Medications that fall into the antipsychotic category can help to stop hallucinations, stabilize moods and manage anxiety attacks. A woman who is thinking about becoming pregnant or accidentally gets pregnant while taking an antipsychotic medication should talk to her doctor as soon as possible. A doctor and patient need to discuss the pros and cons of using antipsychotics in pregnancy. The disorder from which the mother suffers and the exact medication she is taking can help to determine if using antipsychotics in pregnancy is a safe choice.

A woman should not stop taking antipsychotic medication abruptly when she finds out she is pregnant. Even if a woman is uncomfortable taking antipsychotics while pregnant, she should seek help from her doctor to slowly get off the medication by gradually lowering the dose. If a woman stops taking a high dose of antipsychotic medication instantly, then it can cause a variety of side effects that may impact both the mom and the baby.

Taking certain antipsychotics in pregnancy can be considered safer than taking others. Haloperidol is considered a high-potency medication for treating psychotic disorders. Many doctors consider haloperidol one of the safer antipsychotic medications for women to take during pregnancy. Some doctors may allow a patient to stay on this medication during the entire pregnancy, while others may recommend that a woman slowly quit haloperidol in the third trimester of pregnancy. New mothers using haloperidol typically are told not to breastfeed their babies and to use formula instead.

Other antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine, are considered to be low-potency medications. Taking such antipsychotics in pregnancy may cause birth defects in babies. Pregnant women may be taken off chlorpromazine for the duration of a pregnancy or temporarily placed on a different medication.

A doctor can assess the statistics of certain antipsychotics to see what the odds are of the baby having any sort of issues if the mother continues using the medication during pregnancy. The healthcare provider can weigh these factors against a mother's current diagnosis and mental state. If a patient has a very severe disorder, then she may perform other harmful acts if she goes off her medication and the baby may be safer if the mother continues to use antipsychotics in pregnancy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.