The author of this paper does not have any commercial associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with this manuscript.
A cautionary note on the use of antidepressants in postpartum depression
Version of Record online: 18 JUL 2006
Volume 8, Issue 4, pages 411–414, August 2006
How to Cite
Sharma, V. (2006), A cautionary note on the use of antidepressants in postpartum depression. Bipolar Disorders, 8: 411–414. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2006.00336.x
- Issue online: 18 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 18 JUL 2006
- Received 17 December 2004, revised and accepted for publication 14 February 2006
- antidepressant drugs;
- atypical neuroleptics;
- bipolar disorder;
- postpartum depression;
- postpartum psychosis;
- rapid cycling
Objectives: This paper discusses the effect of antidepressant use on the illness course in three women who were treated for first-onset postpartum depression (PPD) following childbirth.
Methods: A report of three cases of early-onset PPD in which bipolarity manifested following antidepressant treatment.
Results: There was no past history of psychiatric disturbance but in each case there was a family history of bipolar (BP) disorder. Treatment with antidepressants resulted in a highly unstable illness course characterized by a mixed episode, cycle acceleration, and a postpartum psychosis. However, discontinuation of antidepressants and institution of treatment with mood stabilizers and atypical neuroleptics resulted in sustained improvement and symptom remission.
Conclusions: Caution is urged in the use of antidepressants to treat early-onset PPD in women at risk for developing BP disorder due to a family history of bipolar illness.