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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Parents Medications Effects On Children's Disorders After Childbirth

06/03/2006

Question:

While pregnant in the late 1970`s, I had an emergency cervical cerclage put in to hold the baby to term. I was given medication to stop contractions, and I also took bendectin at the beginning of this pregnancy.

This child is now suffering from depression/bipolar disoder according to a dr. that it has being seeing. Could the medications I took have caused this today?

Answer:

Hello and thank you for your excellent question.

I'm afraid I am not aware of any association b/w Bendectin and bipolar disorder in children. Most of the current research on bipolar disorder suggests that its cause is primarily genetic, passed-down through generations within families via one's genes, and triggered by life stressors.


In contrast, research on Bendectin suggests that it can cause limb, heart, oral cleft and hernia birth defects but not mood disorders. An excellent site for such research is www.birthdefects.org, which is run by a non-profit organization, overseen by a board of expert scientists, that provides parents and expectant parents with information about birth defects and support services for their children. The specific web-page for Bendectin is: www.birthdefects.org/information/env_bendectin2.htm


Although it sometimes helps to "look for a cause" for bipolar to understand a child's condition, since these causes are often in the remote past, cannot be changed and are never the fault of the parents/child (after all, "you don't get to choose your or your child's genes!"), I encourage parents to instead invest their time and energy in "looking for" treatments to help their child and family cope with the current affects of the disorder.

I hope my answer is helpful.

Best wishes.

For more information:

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Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University