When it comes to Zoloft and breastfeeding research indicates we should exercise caution.
A study published in the 2004 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry indicated that Zoloft can be detected in nursing babies in low levels. The study concluded that while further evidence is needed, breastfeeding should not be discouraged in nursing mothers taking Zoloft.
However, the manufacturer of Zoloft, Pfizer, recommends women stop nursing if they are taking Zoloft as a general precaution because it is not known how much Zoloft passes through breast milk, or the exact health complications it may cause in nursing babies.
As a result, in an official statement the American Academy of Pediatrics has officially classified Zoloft as a drug "for which the effect on nursing infants is unknown but may be of concern.”
In spite of this, many doctors and healthcare providers typically advise mothers to continue to breastfeed because in many cases the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential health risks of taking Zoloft.
In such cases, doctors and psychiatrists are cognizant of the risk of adverse side effects, withdrawal, and risk of a depressive relapse if patients stop taking their antidepressant medication.
Zoloft is a SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) type medication used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and other conditions.
This antidepressant works by increasing the level of the brain chemical serotonin in the body. An imbalance of serotonin is thought to related to symptoms related to depression, anxiety, stress, OCD, etc.
Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding while taking Zoloft.
To avoid potential harm to the unborn baby, your doctor may adjust your treatment plan. For example, your doctor may lower your Zoloft dosage or arrange for a medication holiday depending on the severity of the depression.
Your doctor may also explore or arrange alternative treatments for depression during pregnancy, such as increased behavioral therapy in cases of minor depression.
In cases of severe depression or in those with a history of major depressive disorder, the risk of a relapse in depression must weighted carefully against the potential harm to the developing fetus.
Ultimately, the risks and benefits must be weighed on a case-by-case basis.