The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy and breast-feeding: a review and clinical aspects

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 Feb;25(1):59-73. doi: 10.1097/


Mood and anxiety disorders are common in women during their childbearing years. The prevalence of depression has been reported to be between 10% and 16% during pregnancy. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy or lactation is, to date, not promoted because of lack of safety documentation. However, the off-label use of these drugs has been common for several years. In the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors are often preferred over tricyclic antidepressants because of their relatively few adverse effects and safety in overdose. This has created concern among women planning pregnancies and pregnant women, as well as among their families and physicians. Several studies and reports of the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors during both pregnancy and lactation have been published and advanced our knowledge. We here review and discuss those studies which have been published so far on this subject.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Milk, Human / metabolism
  • Postnatal Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Registries
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Sweden


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors