Seroquel during Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on May 15, 2012

Seroquel is an antipsychotic that is often used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Some patients have expressed concerns about pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Seroquel. There are no studies that show how Seroquel will affect pregnancy but there are some ideas of what could happen.

Seroquel is a Category C Drug

The FDA classifies medications for pregnant women to help them make the best choices for their children. Seroquel is a category C medication which means that it hasn’t been tested on pregnant women but there have been animal trials that show a negative effect on the offspring. A category C medication can be given to women who are pregnant if both she and her doctor decide that the benefits outweigh the risks.

What the Trials Showed

The offspring that were born during the Seroquel trials on pregnant rats and rabbits demonstrated low birth weight as well as slowed development. There was also an increase in miscarriages in the animals receiving Seroquel during pregnancy.

It is important to note that results in animals and in humans may vary. The animal physiology may react differently to the medication than the human physiology. There are no trials planned to test Seroquel on expectant mothers in the near future but there have been 69 reported births of healthy children while the mother was on Seroquel. Pregnant women should discuss their medications with their doctor and make an educated decision.

The Last Trimester

There have been reports of problems among newborns that were exposed to antipsychotic medication, including Seroquel, during the last trimester. These problems include stiff or floppy muscles, unusual sleepiness, tremors, breathing problems, and feeding problems. It is thought these may be signs the babies are going through withdrawal after receiving Seroquel in the womb. These appeared only in babies exposed in the last trimester. Some mothers choose to discontinue use of Seroquel during pregnancy. Before discontinuing medication, expectant mothers should check with their doctor to ensure that they do it properly.

Seroquel and Breastfeeding

Seroquel can be passed into the breast milk, and studies show Seroquel during breastfeeding may harm the baby. It is recommended that women breastfeeding should not take Seroquel because of this. It is reported that if the mother is receiving 400 mg of Seroquel a day, there should be no adverse effect on the nursing child. Some women have reported that their child suffered withdrawal symptoms after being switched from breast milk to formula. Women taking Seroquel should discuss their medication and breastfeeding with their doctor and their child’s doctor to ensure that the safest option for both mother and child is chosen.

Seroquel can help people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders overcome their medical difficulties. Unfortunately, there have been some concerns about pregnant women taking Seroquel. Seroquel during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be considered thoroughly between the mother and her doctor to determine the best course of action.