Antidepressant drugs and breastfeeding: A review of the literature

Riccardo Davanzo, Marco Copertino, Angela De Cunto, Federico Minen, Alessandro Amaddeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of antidepressants in breastfeeding mothers is controversial: Manufacters often routinely discourage breastfeeding for the nursing mother despite the well-known positive impact that breastfeeding carries on the health of the nursing infant and on his or her family and society. We conducted a systematic review of drugs commonly used in the treatment of postpartum depression. For every single drug two sets of data were provided: (1) selected pharmacokinetic characteristics such as half-life, milk-to-plasma ratio, protein binding, and oral bioavailability and (2) information about lactational risk, according to some authoritative sources of the literature: Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation edited by Briggs et al. (Lippincott Williams, Philadelphia, 2008), Medications and Mothers' Milk by Hale (Hale Publishing, Amarillo, TX, 2010), and the LactMed database of TOXNET (www.pubmed.gov; accessed June 2010). Notwithstanding a certain variability of advice, we found that (1) knowledge of pharmacokinetic characteristics are scarcely useful to assess safety and (2) the majority of antidepressants are not usually contraindicated: (a) Selective serotinin reuptake inhibitors and nortryptiline have a better safety profile during lactation, (b) fluoxetine must be used carefully, (c) the tricyclic doxepine and the atypical nefazodone should better be avoided, and (d) lithium, usually considered as contraindicated, has been recently rehabilitated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011

Fingerprint

Breast Feeding
Antidepressive Agents
Lactation
Milk
Nursing
Pharmacokinetics
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Safety
Postpartum Depression
Fluoxetine
Lithium
PubMed
Protein Binding
Biological Availability
Half-Life
Blood Proteins
Databases
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery
  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy

Cite this

Davanzo, R., Copertino, M., De Cunto, A., Minen, F., & Amaddeo, A. (2011). Antidepressant drugs and breastfeeding: A review of the literature. Breastfeeding Medicine, 6(2), 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2010.0019

Antidepressant drugs and breastfeeding : A review of the literature. / Davanzo, Riccardo; Copertino, Marco; De Cunto, Angela; Minen, Federico; Amaddeo, Alessandro.

In: Breastfeeding Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 2, 01.04.2011, p. 89-98.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Davanzo, R, Copertino, M, De Cunto, A, Minen, F & Amaddeo, A 2011, 'Antidepressant drugs and breastfeeding: A review of the literature', Breastfeeding Medicine, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 89-98. https://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2010.0019
Davanzo, Riccardo ; Copertino, Marco ; De Cunto, Angela ; Minen, Federico ; Amaddeo, Alessandro. / Antidepressant drugs and breastfeeding : A review of the literature. In: Breastfeeding Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 6, No. 2. pp. 89-98.
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