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Schizophrenia relapse after stopping olanzapine treatment during pregnancy: a case report

Authors Ifteni P, Moga MA, Burtea V, Correll C

Received 3 July 2014

Accepted for publication 19 August 2014

Published 23 October 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 901—904

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S70545

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh


Petru Ifteni,1,2 Marius A Moga,1 Victoria Burtea,1,2 Christoph U Correll3,4

1Faculty of Medicine, Transilvania University, Brasov, Romania; 2Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital, Brasov, Romania; 3Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System, New York, NY, USA; 4Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Women with schizophrenia have a high risk for symptom exacerbation or relapse during pregnancy and thereafter. Relapses are more frequent when antipsychotics are discontinued. This paper describes the case of a 28-year old woman with schizophrenia who continued treatment with olanzapine during the first trimester. Olanzapine, a second-generation antipsychotic, was administered at a therapeutic dose from week 1 of gestation until week 13 when she reported the pregnancy to her psychiatrist. Despite the psychiatrist’s recommendation to continue treatment, the patient stopped olanzapine at 20 weeks. She was hospitalized at week 36 for a schizophrenia relapse and was transferred to the obstetrics department where she gave birth by Cesarean section to a normal child. This case is important, illustrating the perils of unplanned pregnancy during antipsychotic treatment and abrupt discontinuation. Ultimately, clinical decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, weighing the risks to the mother in terms of symptom exacerbation and relapse if antipsychotic treatment is discontinued, and the potential risk to the fetus regarding possible teratogenic effects of continued antipsychotic treatment.

Keywords: relapse, pregnancy, schizophrenia, olanzapine

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