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Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Breastfeeding and Xanax


 Mumma24hrs - Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:43 pm

I have OCD and panic disorder and I'm having an increase in my symptoms since giving birth two weeks ago. I take Prozac 60 mg and was given xanax 1mg xr to help relieve some of my constant anxiety. I normally take Xanax .5mg as needed. I really want to continue breastfeeding so I am currently taking the xr in the morn and pumping and dumping every 3 hrs for 12 hrs (she gets formula during this time) and then I breastfeed thru the night which is normally 2-3 times. Is this safe? She is a healthy baby, and as soon as I stabilized again I am stopping the xr and going back to my .5mg as needed, which I'm hoping will be very soon.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:25 pm

User avatar Hello,
Congratulations on your decision to breastfeed your baby. This is the best thing you can do for her health.

Many medications are safe with breastfeeding. The labeling always warns because we don't do the usual testing of drugs in lactating women. For Xanax, the recommendation is to only use it with your doctor's knowledge; not to avoid it altogether. Long-term use is the only concern here. Single use (short-acting; not extended release) taken as needed are pretty safe and it has a relatively short half-life, making it a better choice than many others especially if you feed the baby 2-3 hours after the dosing because this reduces the exposure to your baby. The longer half-life of the extended release form make it more difficult but I suspect the regimen you are on is good.

Tom Hale's Breastfeeding and Medications forum says the main worry is with many days' use but it is unclear what exactly constitutes "many days." Many factors go into consideration here such as whether or not the baby is healthy, full-term, without apneic spells (stops breathing). It sounds like your baby is healthy and I assume was born at term. It would be ideal if you were able to wean yourself off this dose, as planned, assuming you are able to cope with the anxiety with "as needed" treatment. I hope you are also getting some therapy to help you find other non-pharmaceutical help.

Pumping and dumping demonstrates your commitment to breastfeeding as this will help keep up your milk supply and it shows you are looking at the bigger, long-term picture. The constant anxiety will hopefully be just a temporary glitch for you. Once you recover, you can continue to rebuild your milk supply for long-term successful breastfeeding.

Best wishes.

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