Aripiprazole and pregnancy: A retrospective, multicentre study

Megan Galbally, Jacquie Frayne, Stuart J. Watson, Martien Snellen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Aripiprazole is a second generation antipsychotic medication that has been a useful addition to the treatment of severe mental illness due to its low metabolic and sedation risk profile. Pregnancy is a time of high risk of metabolic complications such as gestational diabetes and the postpartum period is often a time when sedation can compromise infant care. To date there is limited data in pregnancy on the safety of aripiprazole use. While available data do not suggest an elevated malformation risk in pregnancy, there is less information available on pregnancy and neonatal complications. Methods: This study presents preliminary data on pregnancy and neonatal complications on 26 women who took aripiprazole in pregnancy. These women attended at antenatal clinics for women with severe mental illness at two hospitals in Australia. Results: Overall aripiprazole was not associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. However, use of aripiprazole in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of pregnancy hypertension, lower birth weight, shorter gestation at birth and higher rates of admission of the neonate than the expected population rates. Limitations: These findings need to be replicated in a larger, well-designed study to ensure they do not reflect confounding factors. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that aripiprazole is unlikely to pose a metabolic risk in pregnancy but other pregnancy complications including hypertension, need to be examined in further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-596
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


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