Alcohol, Drugs and Medication in Pregnancy


Exposure to intrauterine drugs, alcohol and medicines can have profound effects on the child’s behaviour and propensity to behavioural disturbances. Some agents alter anatomic structure; others alter the chemical balance of neurotransmitters and may thus alter the regulation of brain function. This book documents the outcome and consequences for children exposed to intrauterine drugs, alcohol and medicine and explores strategies to support these children and those who care for them, including statutory agencies.

The international team of contributors sets out to inform the reader of the potential risks to infants exposed to a range of intrauterine chemicals that are potentially neuroactive, including medicinal drugs such as antiepileptics, antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as drugs of abuse, including alcohol, opiates, and recreational drugs such as cannabis and tobacco. They review the teratogenic action of some of the chemical processes and the relationship of exposure to the stage of pregnancy.

In setting out the evidence for outcomes, the authors demonstrate that decisions about future care and management can and should be made early, with a secure understanding of the effect of this early exposure. This should allow professionals to provide protective management and prevent the delays in intervention and decision making that have so often been seen in this area of medical and social care.

  • Demonstrates the consequences for the child of alcohol and drugs in pregnancy
  • Includes chapters on the diagnosis and management of fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Explores strategies to support affected children and those who care for them


Paediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians, gynaecologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists, those working in child care and child protection.

Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 188