Paxil CR and Breastfeeding

Paxil CR is known to pass to breast milk. However, in several previous studies, nursing children had very low or undetectable levels of paroxetine (the active ingredient of Paxil CR) in their blood when their mothers were taking the medication. If you have been prescribed Paxil CR and are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding, let your healthcare provider know. Together, you can make a shared decision about Paxil CR and breastfeeding for your particular situation.

Paxil CR and Breastfeeding: An Overview

Small amounts of Paxil CR® (paroxetine controlled release) are passed to breast milk. Because of the serious problems that the medicine could potentially cause to a nursing infant, it is recommended that healthcare providers look at the possible risks and benefits before recommending Paxil CR to a woman who is breastfeeding. Therefore, if you have been prescribed Paxil CR and are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.
 
When asked about Paxil CR and breastfeeding, many healthcare providers advise that it is okay to breastfeed while taking the drug. This is because, in most cases, the benefits of breastfeeding a child outweigh the possible risks that Paxil CR may pose to the child.
 

Paxil CR and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

In several previous studies, children had very low or undetectable levels of paroxetine (the active ingredient of Paxil CR) in their blood when their mothers took paroxetine while breastfeeding. In most case, no side effects occurred in the nursing infants.
 
However, there have been cases where side effects, such as irritability, constipation, sedation, and difficulty feeding, have been reported. Most of these occurred when the mothers also took Paxil CR during pregnancy, making it difficult to determine whether the side effects were due to using the medicine while breastfeeding or during pregnancy. 
 
Unfortunately, the recommendations for using Paxil CR while breastfeeding are not clear-cut at this time. A recent study done by Berle and colleagues published in the September 2004 edition of Journal of Clinical Psychiatry concluded that "this study adds further evidence to previous published data indicating that breastfeeding should not be generally discouraged in women using serotonin reuptake anti-depressants."
 
However, the potential long-term effects of using Paxil CR during breastfeeding are not entirely known, Therefore, other experts recommend stopping or reducing the frequency of breastfeeding during treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers Paxil CR a medicine for which the effects on a nursing infant are unknown, but potentially concerning.
 
If your healthcare provider recommends Paxil CR use during breastfeeding, be sure to closely observe your infant for any possible side effects. These may include irritability, constipation, sedation, and problems feeding.
 
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Information on Paxil CR

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