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When do SSRI 'side effects' subside in baby?

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  • When do SSRI 'side effects' subside in baby?

    I've started a low dose of fluoxetine (5-10mg) and have been very happy with how it's helping my postpartum depression; the downside is it's affect on my 11 month-old son. He is extremely irritable, fussy, needy, and sleeping less (waking more). His entire personality seems to have changed and it's as exhausting and babyhood-joy-killing as depression. It feels like I've traded my own mental disorder for his.

    My question is, when would these 'side effects' that he's experiencing go away? Would they go away? Or just lessen, but still remain? My doctor said they should lessen with time, but I need more information to make these important decisions for us. All the studies I've read are focused on pregnancy and early infancy. I need information on older babies.

  • #2

    This dose of fluoxetine is pretty low, and it seems really unusual that the fluoxetine is causing these symptoms in an infant.

    That said, my advice would be to convert to another SSRI, such as Zoloft, or quit breastfeeding by going half and half formula/breastmilk and tapering off of breastfeeding IF you want to continue with Fluoxetine.

    If these symptoms arose in close proximity to your starting Fluoxetine, then it does seem obvious that Fluoxetine is causing these problems in the infant, and I doubt these effects will wane too quickly in the infant.

    Tom Hale Ph.d.


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