Objective: The postnatal period represents a critical phase for mothers because of physiological hormonal changes, the increase of emotional reactions and a greater susceptibility for the onset/recrudescence of psychiatric disorders. Despite the evidence of an increasing utilization of antidepressant drugs during breastfeeding, there is still few reliable information on the neonatal safety of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) [serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs)] in nursing mothers. The aim of this study is to provide a systematic review on the neonatal safety profile of these drugs during breastfeeding, also assessing the limits of available tools.
Methods: MEDLINE and PubMed databases were searched without any language restrictions by using the following set of keywords: ((SSRIs OR selective serotonin inhibitor reuptake OR SNRIs OR selective serotonin noradrenaline inhibitor reuptake) AND (breastfeeding OR lactation OR breast milk)). A separate search was also performed for each SSRIs (paroxetine, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram and escitalopram) and SNRIs (venlafaxine and duloxetine).
Results: Sertraline and paroxetine show a better neonatal safety profile during breastfeeding as compared with other SRIs. Less data are available for fluvoxamine, escitalopram and duloxetine. Few studies followed up infants breastfeed for assessing the neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Conclusions: Literature review clearly indicates paroxetine and sertraline as the drugs that should be preferred as first line choice in nursing women who need an antidepressant treatment.
Keywords: breastfeeding; lactation; review; selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs).
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.