Q. I have been on numerous antidepressants for the last year and a half for major depression. Now, I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, mixed, two months ago. I am now taking Neurontin, Wellbutrin, and Xanax. Having said that, my husband and I are very anxious to start a family, and my new psychiatrist advised once I am stabilized on the correct medications and or dosage, to wait at least one year to wean off the meds slowly and then start trying to have a baby.
My husband and I do not want to wait another year to start trying to have a child. (Both my husband and I are in our early thirties). I would like to get stabilized on the medications and then slowly wean off them and start trying to conceive. I do not want to be on medications while pregnant unless I have to. I would like to know your thoughts about this matter. I know you do not know a lot about my situation but if you could give me your general medical opinion on this matter I would greatly appreciate it.
A. Most of the antidepressants seem to be safe during pregnancy. Most of the antimanic agents are not. So, you could be on a SRI, SNRI, Serzone, etc., with not much worry. Lithium, Depakote, etc., are another matter. There are a number of folks throughout the country that specialize in psychiatric medications and pregnancy. Lee Cohen, MD in Boston and Catherine Wisner, MD in Cleveland do a lot of this. There have to be some others on both coasts and everywhere in between, too. You might want to call the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD) for a referral or the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. In the interim, follow your doctor's instructions until you have the care that you need to make such a big decision.