PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS SAFE DURING BREAST FEEDING?: AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
*Dr. Vivek Pathak and Dr. Sanjiv Kale
Given the many benefits of breastfeeding, some women taking psychiatric medications may wish to nurse their infants. When making this decision, several variables must be considered. These include the known and unknown risks of medication exposure for the baby via breast milk, the effects of untreated illness in the mother, and the benefits of and maternal preferences for breastfeeding. There are established health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers. Efforts have been made to quantify the amount of psychotropic medications and their metabolites in the breast milk of nursing mothers. In order to more accurately measure the infant’s exposure to medication, serum drug levels in the infant have also been assessed. From the available data, it appears that all medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotic agents, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazepines, are secreted into the breast milk to the mother. Further investigation is required on a larger and more elaborated level. In our study we found that none of the subject experienced any outburst of psychiatric symptoms. And none of the child showed any sign of sign effect of medication given to the mother. However, concentrations of these agents in breast milk vary considerably. The amount of medication to which an infant is exposed depends on several factors: factors pertaining to the specific medication, the maternal dosage of medication, the frequency of dosing and infant feedings, and the rate of maternal drug metabolism. The decision to breastfeed while taking medications is more complicated when a baby is premature or has medical complications. The nursing infant’s chances of experiencing toxicity are dependent not only on the amount of medication ingested but also on how well any ingested medication is metabolized.
Keywords: Psychotropic Medications, Breast Feeding, Antidepresent, Atypical Antipsychotic, Benzodiazepam, Mood Stabiliser.
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