The prescribing information for Zoloft suggests that it is not known whether or not the medication passes through breast milk; however, several studies concerning breastfeeding and Zoloft seem to show that Zoloft does pass through breast milk, but usually at very low (or undetectable) levels. Therefore, many doctors advise their patients that it is usually okay to nurse a child while taking Zoloft. However, every woman's situation is different, so talk to your healthcare provider for a recommendation on your particular situation.
Zoloft and Breastfeeding: An Overview
According to the Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride) prescribing information, it is not known whether Zoloft or any of its byproducts pass through breast milk, and if so, how much. Therefore, the drug's manufacturer recommends that women stop nursing if they are taking Zoloft.
However, most healthcare providers usually advise their patients that it is okay to breastfeed while taking Zoloft. This is because, in most cases, the benefits of breastfeeding a child outweigh the possible risks of the Zoloft.
What Does the Research Say?
Although the manufacturer states that it is not known if Zoloft passes through breast milk, recent studies have shown that low levels of Zoloft do seem to pass through breast milk. Several studies have shown that in women taking Zoloft and breastfeeding, the levels of Zoloft in their child's blood is either very low or undetectable. The most recent study was done by Berle and colleagues, and published in the September 2004 edition of Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. They concluded that "This study adds further evidence to previous published data indicating that breastfeeding should not be generally discouraged in women using [selective] serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)."
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