Pregnancy and ADHD meds


"I am a 34-year-old woman, taking one of the stimulant medications for ADHD. I recently discovered that I am expecting. Can I safely continue my medication while I am pregnant and/or nursing?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

While there is no solid research that proves whether any of the ADHD medications, stimulants or antidepressants, have an impact on the fetus during pregnancy, the FDA and pharmaceutical manufacturers advise that you not take these medications during pregnancy or while trying for pregnancy. It is generally advised that you discontinue any inessential medication while you're pregnant or nursing, as they may show up in your milk.

Stopping medication is problematic for those who depend on it to minimize behaviors caused by ADHD, but there are ways to cope. You'll have to work harder at living with these behaviors, and you might think about working with a coach to make sure that you stay on task and follow through with your plans each day. Your family needs to understand that symptoms may increase and that they should be supportive. Explain the problem to your employer and request additional support and accommodations during your pregnancy.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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