Choosing a safe medication
I used to be on Wellbutrin, and it seemed to work pretty well for me (although I took a fairly low dose and wonder if a slightly higher dose would be a little better if I go back on it.) I took this while breastfeeding my older daughter from about 16 months until 5 years of age. She’s 6.5 years old now and is healthy, bright, and energetic.
I’m currently exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old daughter with no plans to quit and no plans to introduce any other foods until 6 months. I've read that the drug of choice for breastfeeding mothers is Zoloft. However I haven't ever used it before and I'm concerned about the side effects for me.
Do you think it is a better choice for me to go on Wellbutrin, which I know works for me and has minimal side effects (but there is less research about breastfeeding it seems) or try out Zoloft that is supposed to be fairly safe during breastfeeding but has unknown effectiveness and side effects for me?
In situations such as yours, we feel like the best thing is to take the medication that works best for you.
The Relative Infant Dose (amount of the medication the infant would receive of the dose you take) of Wellbutrin is about 2%. The time the medication peaks in your system after taking the medication is about 2 hours. In order to ensure the infant gets the least amount of the medication as possible, you should breastfeed the infant before taking the medication, take the medication, and then wait about 3 hours before you breastfeed again.
If you or the infant has a history of seizure disorders, you should not take Wellbutrin.
No other side effects in the infants have been reported in the studies that we have. There have been 3 case reports where the mother’s milk supply has been suppressed. However, if you did not experience this when you breastfed your first child, you probably won’t have this problem.
Please remember, the risk of untreated depression is far higher than the risks of this medication.
If you have any further questions, please call us at the InfantRisk Center, (806) 352-2519. Our hours are Mon-Fri from 8am-5pm CDT.
Colleen Peace, BSN, RN
InfantRisk Center, TTUHSC