This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Original Research

Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Second-Generation Antipsychotics on Development and Behavior Among Preschool-Aged Children: Preliminary Results From the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications

Carol Swetlik, MD; Lee S. Cohen, MD; Lauren A. Kobylski, MPH; Ellen T. Sojka, BA; Parker C. Killenberg, BS; Marlene P. Freeman, MD; and Adele C. Viguera, MD

Published: March 13, 2024


Objective: Data are lacking on the neurodevelopmental outcomes of children prenatally exposed to second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs). The objective of this study is to examine neurodevelopmental outcomes of children exposed in utero to SGAs compared to those unexposed in a cohort of mothers with psychiatric morbidity.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of preschool-aged children whose mothers were enrolled in the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications. Two validated, parent-report developmental and behavioral screening assessments, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Third Edition (ASQ-3) and the Preschool Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1½–5 (CBCL/1½–5), respectively, were delivered electronically to eligible participants. Outcomes of children exposed in utero to SGAs were compared to those unexposed to SGAs in a cohort of mothers with a history of psychiatric illness. Exposure to other psychotropic medications during pregnancy was not an exclusion criterion for either group.

Results: From January 2, 2018, to February 2, 2021, 520 children were eligible, and 352 responses were collected (67.7%), including 178 children in the SGA-exposed group (mean age = 2.6 years) and 174 children in the unexposed comparison group (mean age = 2.1 years). No significant differences between groups were detected (OR = 1.24, 95% CI, 0.74–2.09) with respect to developmental outcomes assessed by the ASQ-3. Similarly, for behavioral outcomes, adjusted analysis showed no significant differences in odds of an abnormal “clinical” score on the CBCL/1½–5 composite scales.

Conclusions: The current study is the first to examine neurobehavioral outcomes of preschool-aged children exposed prenatally to SGAs. No significant differences in overall development or behavior were detected in the exposed versus unexposed group. These preliminary findings are an important step in delineating neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal SGA exposure.

J Clin Psychiatry 2024;85(1):23m14965

Author affiliations are listed at the end of this article.

Volume: 85

Quick Links:

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article


Buy this Article as a PDF