New Pregnancy and Lactation Guidelines

I couldn’t be happier with the FDA announcing that they will be changing the guidelines for pregnancy and lactation. Throughout my years of work as a psychiatrist, I can tell you that most other physicians think that the way you figure out if a pregnant woman should be taking a particular medication is by comparing the risk categories. Pregnant women need a complex evaluation and presentation of risks vs benefits of different medications vs therapy. What they need is a doctor who specializes in women’s health and who can provide them with the full story behind these risk categories. All the studies behind a particular medication must be taken into account, one cannot simply prescribe a medication with a more favorable risk catergory but that has not been as extensively studied. I hope that this new way of categorizing will help doctors who prescribe to pregnant and lactating women, but I agree with the author, Dr. Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD, and am worried that the extra information may be too daunting for doctors who have not studied this material and may therefore lead to not prescribing medication when it may in fact be indicated.

About the Author
Dr. Fein is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles specializing in general adult and women's mental health.