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ARCHIVE:  January 28, 2004

LSD and Pregnancy

Dear Dr. Shulgin:

How safe is it to take LSD when pregnant? Could it affect the unborn baby, and how? --Vix

Dear Vix:

Quite honestly, I do not know. I don't think anyone knows. A number of years ago, I was teaching a Psychology course at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology down in the Stanford area, and one of my students asked me this very question. She volunteered that she had fallen totally in love with a young man, and that she had become pregnant, and that she had just recently taken a hefty dose of LSD. Was she at risk for some teratogenic mess-up of her forthcoming fetus? I told her that there was no known clinical evidence that should give her any concern, and that she should proceed with her life with optimism and full hope for the future. Her child was completely normal.

But my advice was without medical documentation. No one knows if there is any connection between LSD use and embryonic malformation. The period of sensitivity for damage, in the human animal, is probably in the first four or five weeks of pregnancy. And this is a time slot where one is maybe not even aware of being pregnant.

I have a simple axiom that I totally believe in. If you are pregnant, or if you might be pregnant, do not use any drugs. No drugs at all. Not just during the first trimester but in all three trimesters. Do not use LSD, do not use caffeine, do not even use special diets. Eat and behave normally. No behavioral extremes or even any climbs to the top of Mount Everest. In a year you will be back to your own self, and you can push your personal limits again just a little bit. But for that magical nine months cool it, and stay on a healthy, simple diet. Let your doctor advise you and keep watch over you and your developing baby.

-- Dr. Shulgin

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