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Date of issue: May 2017, Version: 2

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A corresponding patient information leaflet on USE OF LSD IN PREGNANCY is available.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a synthetic tryptamine used recreationally for its highly potent hallucinogenic properties thought due to its activity at 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A and 2A receptors. 

There are no published prospective studies which specifically investigate fetal outcome following use of LSD in pregnancy. The available data are derived from case reports or small case series published mainly during the 1970s. These describe limb, CNS and ocular defects in infants exposed to LSD in utero. However, LSD has not been adequately studied and there are currently insufficient data to assign a causal association or quantify risk of adverse pregnancy outcome with use during pregnancy.

Exposure to LSD at any stage of pregnancy would not usually be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy. The need for additional fetal assessment will depend on individual circumstances, but should be considered where prolonged or high dose LSD exposure has occurred. Other risk factors may be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to NHS health care professionals who are logged in.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.