Frequency of infant adverse events that are associated with citalopram use during breast-feeding

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Jan;190(1):218-21. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(03)00868-8.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of infantile adverse events from exposure through breast-feeding to maternal citalopram therapy.

Study design: This was a prospective, observational cohort study. Women who were breast-feeding were placed in three groups on the basis of citalopram use: group 1 consisted of 31 women who were depressed and were undergoing citalopram therapy, group 2 consisted of 12 women who were depressed but were not undergoing citalopram therapy, and group 3 consisted of 31 healthy women who were matched to group 1 by maternal age and parity. Data collection included infant feeding method, medication use, and adverse events.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of adverse events in the three groups (3/31 events, 0/12 events, and 1/31 events in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively). The average dose of citalopram that was used in group 1 was 25.3+/-11.4 mg per day (range, 10-60 mg/d).

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first prospective, controlled study to examine the safety of citalopram during breast-feeding, which should be continued during maternal citalopram therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / adverse effects*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Citalopram / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Irritable Mood
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychology, Child
  • Psychomotor Agitation / etiology


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Citalopram