Maternal psychotropic medication and neonatal behavior

Judith G. Auerbach, Sydney L. Hans, Joseph Marcus, Sheila Maeir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A sample of 29 psychiatrically ill women and a non-ill comparison group were recruited during pregnancy. Twelve of the ill mothers were receiving antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medication during the final trimester of pregnancy. The behavior of their infants was assessed at 3 and 14 days of age using the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. Compared to infants of non-ill mothers and infants of ill nonmedicated mothers, infants whose mothers received antipsychotic drugs - particularly those in the phenothiazine family - showed a stable pattern of poor neonatal motor functioning that included tremulousness, hypertonicity, and poor motor maturity. It was speculated that this behavior was symptomatic of a neonatal abstinence or withdrawal syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-406
Number of pages8
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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