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Typically, breastfeeding is not recommended for women taking fluoxetine. In clinical studies, the medication was shown to cause sleeping problems, vomiting, and watery stools in babies. Fluoxetine levels in nursing babies can also be as high (if not higher) than those in their mothers.

Fluoxetine and Breastfeeding: An Overview

Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac®) is passed through breast milk more than most other similar antidepressants. Because of the potentially serious side effects that could occur in a nursing infant, the manufacturer of fluoxetine does not recommended taking fluoxetine while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.
 

What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that fluoxetine levels in nursing babies can be as high (or higher) than fluoxetine levels in mothers. Other similar antidepressants, such as Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride) or Paxil® (paroxetine hydrochloride), produce almost undetectable levels in nursing babies and may be better choices in mothers who are breastfeeding.
 
According to the manufacturer, there have been reports of the following symptoms in nursing infants whose mothers were taking fluoxetine:
 
  • Crying
  • Sleeping problems
  • Vomiting
  • Watery stools.
     

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Breastfeeding and Fluoxetine

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking fluoxetine. This is because everyone's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. Based on what you want and expect (as well as your current health situation), you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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