Diagnostic delays of 10 to 15 years are common among people with bipolar disorder, research…
By Donavyn Coffey
Pregnancy is marked by joy but also challenges, including the acute stress of sleep deprivation, mood swings and hormonal fluctuations that are all the more problematic for soon-to-be mothers who are also navigating bipolar disorder.
“Pregnancy is not emotionally protective,” said Stephanie Nichols, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, BCPP, FCCP, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at the University of New England School of Pharmacy, in Portland, Maine. The physical and hormonal changes people experience during pregnancy make them more emotionally vulnerable, noted Dr. Nichols, who was part of a panel offering several management tips for these patients during the 2023 ACCP Annual Meeting, in Dallas.
In the past, concern for fetal safety led many pregnant individuals with bipolar disorder to discontinue treatment—a move not supported by 2023 guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). However, pregnancy may require pharmacists to revise the treatment plan, Dr. Nichols said.
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