Exposure to aripiprazole during embryogenesis: a prospective multicenter cohort study

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The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of major malformations after aripiprazole exposure during the embryonic period. The secondary purposes were to assess the risk of miscarriage, prematurity, fetal growth retardation and maternal complications and to describe possible neonatal adverse effects.


We conducted a cohort study using data prospectively collected by the French Pharmacovigilance Centres participating to the Terappel program and the Centre de Référence sur les Agents Tératogènes between 2004 and 2011. The exposed group consisted of pregnant women exposed to aripiprazole during embryogenesis, and the unexposed group consisted of pregnant women without exposure or exposed to non-teratogenic agents. Two unexposed patients, matched for age and gestational age at call, were randomly selected for each exposed patient.


Eighty-six patients were included in the exposed group and 172 in the unexposed group. Exposure to aripiprazole was not significantly associated with an increased rate of major malformations (OR 2.30, 95%CI 0.32–16.7) or miscarriage (1.66, 0.63–4.38) or gestational diabetes (1.15, 0.33–4.04) compared to non-exposure. The study revealed significantly increased rates of prematurity (OR 2.57, 95%CI 1.06–6.27) and fetal growth retardation (2.97, 1.23–7.16) in exposed newborns, difficult to interpret because of the short duration of maternal exposure. Two cases of neonatal complications were reported among the 19 newborns exposed to aripiprazole near delivery.


This study failed to demonstrate a significant association between aripiprazole exposure during the embryonic period and major malformations. More powerful prospective studies are required to clarify the reproductive safety profile of aripiprazole. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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