Nursing women can safely take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), according to Norwegian investigators. This is good news for women who are at risk for postpartum depression, say the researchers, whose findings were reported at the 156th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in San Francisco.
Five different SSRIs were tested in 23 nursing women and their infants: generic citalopram (Celexa drug, Forest), tablet sertraline (Zoloft medication, Pfizer), paroxetine generic (Paxil medication, GlaxoSmithKline), venlafaxine drug (Effexor generic, Wyeth-Ayerst), and fluoxetine tablet (e.g., Drug Prozac,®, Eli Lilly, Dista). Although the women took doses of 20 to 130 mg/day and their serum drug levels were in the therapeutic range, the drugs did not enter the mothers’ milk in significant amounts. Drug levels in the infants ranged from 0 to 10% of those in the mother’s blood.