Is it safe for women to breastfeed when taking antidepressants?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Most antidepressants probably can be used safely during breast-feeding; however, this has not been studied thoroughly, and the same risk-benefit considerations should be applied as when treating depression during pregnancy. [200]

Women who plan to breast-feed must be informed that antidepressants, like all psychotropic medications, are secreted into breast milk. Concentrations in breast milk vary widely. [202] Data on the use of TCAs, fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil) during breast-feeding are encouraging, and serum antidepressant levels in the breast-fed infant are either low or undetectable. Reports of toxicity in breast-fed infants are rare, although the long-term effects of exposure to trace amounts of medication are not known. [87]


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