Serum valproate levels in 6 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND:Women with bipolar disorder are at high risk for recurrence of an affective episode in the postpartum period, and treatment with a mood stabilizer may be indicated. Few data are available to inform the risk-benefit decision regarding the use of valproate for women with bipolar disorder who elect to breast-feed. METHOD:Serum valproate levels were obtained from 6 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs. All mothers had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder (Research Diagnostic Criteria) and were taking divalproex sodium as prophylaxis for or treatment of a recurrent affective episode. None of the mothers received valproate during pregnancy. RESULTS:The mothers had serum valproate levels near or within the therapeutic range (39.4 to 79.0 microg/mL). Infant serum levels were low, ranging from 0.7 to 1.5 microg/mL (0.9%-2.3% of maternal serum levels). No adverse clinical effects were observed in the infants. CONCLUSION:Serum valproate levels were low in nurslings of mothers treated with valproate. These data can be used to inform clinical decisions regarding the use of valproate during breastfeeding.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Piontek, CM; Baab, S; Peindl, KS; Wisner, KL

Published Date

  • March 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 170 - 172

PubMed ID

  • 10817100

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10817100

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1555-2101

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0160-6689

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4088/jcp.v61n0304


  • eng