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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Quetiapine and pregnancy

Did anyone take quetiapine - if so how much? Did you see a CMHT before pregnancy? Did you change meds whilst pregnant? I have been told about olanzapine - but this has its own fair share of problems, Did anyone visit a perinatal team whilst pregnant?

Did you enjoy being a new parent or did the PP risk overshadow everything? Did the worry make anyone ill ?

8 Replies

Hello Pumpkins

I didn't take Quetiapine as my PP was so long ago. I wonder if the choice and medication website might be helpful until other mums can respond? The link I have doesn't seem to be working, so I'm sure other mums here will be able to help.

Take good care of yourself.


I haven't taken quetiapine during pregnancy, but I have taken it (and a whole host of other antipsychotics) otherwise. I'm currently taking 10mg of olanzapine during pregnancy, and will continue this throughout - possibly going up to 15-20mg after baby is born.

Generally, I didn't find much of a difference between quetiapine and olanzapine, and my choice was made as I was already taking olanzapine prior to pregnancy. I think most people's experience is that olanzapine has a slightly higher potential for weight gain. And in pregnancy, both can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, and increased risk of gestational diabetes. I don't think that one is better or worse than the other generally or in pregnancy - but have a chat to your doctor and see how they feel.

I'm in Australia now, so it may be a little different to where you are, but I see my psychiatrist privately, and am happy with the care I get - and I have access to the community mental health teams at any point, but so far I haven't wanted to re-engage with them. Anyone who has my psych history (or even just a bipolar diagnosis) is offered a referral to a perinatal mental health nurse/midwife, who will then liase between existing psychiatrists, and the obstetric team, or will get you in contact with a specialist perinatal psychiatrist. With my last pregnancy, the plan had been to meet with the specialist perinatal psychiatrist, a consultant obstetrician, my normal psychiatrist, and the perinatal mental health nurse who was managing my case, at some point between 32 and 36 weeks, but I didn't end up getting that far along to even have the meeting. This time I will be having a meeting at around 24 weeks, which is to get a really solid plan in place for the postnatal period.

With this pregnancy I changed medication well before getting pregnant. But with my first I changed meds at about nine weeks - I went from ~500mg of valproate twice a day and 10mg of escitalopram daily, and 2mg of lorazepam as needed~ to 5mg of olanzapine and 10mg of escitalopram daily. I initially had a hypomanic episode that went unnoticed (I didn't report any symptoms because I felt great, haha), and then became depressed, so they increased the escitalopram to 20mg, which was continued until birth. I became psychotic within a week or two of giving birth - so this has influenced the choice to be on a higher dose of the antipsychotic while pregnant and then to maybe be on a higher dose again after the baby is born.


Hi Pumpkins,

I don't have experience of Quetiapine, but did take Olanzapine - both after my PP (when I had 1st baby) and in a low dose after my 2nd (stayed well).

There was no perinatal team where I live when I was pregnant and I did see CMHT in the last weeks of my pregnancy. It was hard getting support and I had a consultation with Prof Ian Jones through APP, to get some specialist input. I don't know if you are in the UK and have considered this if you cannot see anyone locally? app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

To answer your question about being a new parent, yes, I did really enjoy it. The thought of PP was of course there at times, but I tried to keep it in the background and be as positive as possible, as well as resting, not getting too caught up, all that kind of thing. I did have some low level anxiety - when I chatted this through with my psychiatrist (when I eventually saw them) he was very reassuring, saying that if I hadn't been worried, that would have been more concerning!

Further children after PP is a tough call but in my experience absolutely worthwhile. I hope you can get some good support, take care, xx


I hope so - I had one bad experience with a Doctor who basically told me I was doomed from the start , something like 50% of women who have had psychosis will get pp.

I am submitting a complaint as he was so Macabre about my future prognosis, he told me I should let services know first before I become pregnant.

I am so fed up of being patronised and belittled. That I can not bear any further contact with services.

There has been a breakdown in trust due to a breach of confidentiality, I am really worried about having a baby - in case they try to make me out to be bad mum.


That's awful, sorry to hear you were upset by the way you have been treated. Please try not to worry too much - easier said than done, I know. I was told my PP risk was 50/50 too and although it's scary, another person's take on that was that actually it was just as likely I would stay well. I hope you can get some better info and support. Finding a health professional you trust is really key. And hopefully your new post will get some good shared experiences too. Take care, xx


Hi Pumpkins

I'm sorry to hear that you have had such bad / negative advice. Yes it is true that there is that risk, but at the same time when you know the risk there is so much you can do to stay well (unlike the first time when you didn't know it was going to happen).

I can't remember if you are in the UK? If you are you could ask your GP to refer you to the APP second opinion psychiatry service for advice? This has probably been mentioned before? sorry if I'm repeating information!


Also, if you have a perinatal mental health team in the area they will be a lot more knowledgeable, supportive and understanding I hope. But I know that this is a postcode lottery (at the moment there isn't one in my area).

Take care


I took 150mg of seroquel xr whilst pregnant, no concerns really with that med and the pregnancy (I was also on sertraline and clonazepam). Baby came out perfectly healthy! Check out lactmed


Oh and I tried olanzapine (not pregnant) and hated it-didn't help the psychosis and I gained 10kg in the 2 weeks i was on it .

Plus side, if you're on meds that work and in regular contact with a psychiatrist to tweak the dosages as pregnancy takes u on a hormone roller-coaster, chances of pp seem much less. Good luck xx


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