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If you are taking Sarafem and breastfeeding at the same time, it is important to know that Sarafem does pass through your breast milk. Studies have shown that the levels of Sarafem in nursing babies can be as high (or higher) than the Sarafem levels in the mothers. Therefore, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of Sarafem and breastfeeding and about other possible options.

Sarafem and Breastfeeding: An Overview

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

Sarafem and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that the levels of Sarafem in nursing babies can be as high (or higher) than the Sarafem levels in the 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 (the active ingredient in Sarafem):
  • Crying
  • Sleeping problems
  • Vomiting
  • Watery stools.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Sarafem and Breastfeeding

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