A Pilot Study of Prophylactic Management of Lamotrigine in Pregnant Women

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Johns Hopkins University
Updated on 21 February 2022
bipolar disorder
depressive disorder
psychiatric disorder
major depressive disorder
schizoaffective disorder


Pregnant women who are taking lamotrigine will be evaluated monthly during pregnancy including a clinical evaluation and a blood draw for lamotrigine levels at each visit. Based on the Therapeutic Drug Monitoring protocol, participant's lamotrigine dosing will be adjusted as needed based on participant's blood levels compared to the reference concentration that was obtained prior to pregnancy or early in pregnancy while clinically stable. After delivery participant and participant's infants will be assessed for mood and functioning at 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks postpartum.


Studies have demonstrated that at least 80% of women who stop mood stabilizing medications for pregnancy relapse psychiatrically. However, relapse is also quite common in women who continue taking mood stabilizing medication with studies demonstrating approximately a 30-37% relapse rate-most with depressive episodes. One likely explanation for the high relapse rate of Bipolar Disorder during pregnancy despite continued mood stabilizing medication is decreasing blood levels of mood stabilizing medications during the course of pregnancy. Pregnancy induces both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes, which can result in decreased serum blood levels and decreased treatment efficacy. Therapeutic drug monitoring is considered standard of care for a number of psychiatric medications. Therapeutic drug monitoring can be an especially crucial guide to clinical treatment during pregnancy, but remarkably, there are no established protocols for the monitoring of levels and dosing of psychiatric medications in pregnancy. Most pregnant psychiatric patients are therefore managed based on symptom recurrence. In contrast, there are established protocols for monitoring blood levels and prophylactic management of antiepileptic medications for epilepsy, including lamotrigine which is also a mood stabilizing medication. The investigators will collect pilot data on the psychiatric outcomes, adverse events, and obstetrical and infant outcomes of pregnant women with Bipolar Disorder who undergo prophylactic therapeutic drug monitoring for a commonly used mood stabilizing medication during pregnancy- lamotrigine. In the epilepsy literature, there is a published protocol for lamotrigine management before, during, and after pregnancy for seizure control; the investigators will use this protocol as a guide.

Condition Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizo Affective Disorder
Treatment Lamictal
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03774641
SponsorJohns Hopkins University
Last Modified on21 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

pregnant, prior or 20 weeks
currently taking Lamotrigine and plan to continue throughout pregnancy
history of Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder or other psychiatric illness, currently stable
may be taking other psychiatric medications

Exclusion Criteria

suicidal/clinically unstable
alcohol, marijuana, or other drug dependence in last 90 days
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