Aripiprazole use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Aripiprazole: Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Abilify Discmelt
Aripiprazole Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Limited information indicates that maternal doses of aripiprazole up to 15 mg daily produce low levels in milk, but until more data become available, an alternate drug may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant. Aripiprazole may affect the milk supply variably.
Maternal Levels. A women who was 6 months postpartum was taking aripiprazole 15 mg by mouth daily. Milk levels after 11 and 12 days of therapy (times not stated) at that dose were 13 and 14 mcg/L.
A woman took aripiprazole 15 mg daily by mouth during pregnancy and postpartum. At 3 days postpartum, aripiprazole was not detectable in colostrum because of an unknown substance that interfered with the assay. On day 27 postpartum, 3 additional milk samples were collected at 30 minutes before the dose (24 hours after the last dose), and 4 and 10 hours after the dose. The drug and its metabolite were undetectable (<10 mcg/L) in all samples. The authors estimated that a fully breastfed infant would receive less than 0.7% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage.
A woman was taking aripiprazole 18 mg daily. On day 6 postpartum, a breastmilk sample (time not reported) contained a concentration of aripiprazole of 38.7 mcg/L.
A woman took aripiprazole 10 mg daily by mouth beginning in week 9 of pregnancy and continuing postpartum. Mid-nursing milk samples were obtained at 8 and 10 weeks postpartum over a 24-hour period after the dose. Aripiprazole and dehydroaripiprazole were measured in the milk. On the first sampling day, mean milk concentrations were 52.6 mcg/L of aripiprazole and 8.8 mcg/L for the metabolite. On the second day, mean milk concentrations were 53.6 and 6.3 mcg/L, respectively. The authors calculated that a 5 kg infant would receive a daily dose of 47 mcg daily and the weight-adjusted dosage would be 8.3% of the maternal dosage.
Infant Levels. A woman was taking aripiprazole 18 mg daily during pregnancy and postpartum. On day 6 her breastfed infant had a serum concentration of 7.6 mcg/L, although some portion of the concentration could have been residual from transplacental transmission because of the drug's on half-life.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
A woman took aripiprazole 15 mg daily by mouth during pregnancy and postpartum. She breastfed her infant (amount not stated) and at 3 months of age, the infant was growing normally.
A woman took aripiprazole 10 mg daily by mouth beginning in week 9 of pregnancy and continuing postpartum. She exclusively breastfed her infant for 6 weeks, then was partially breastfed. At 4 months of age the infant was still breastfeeding and had normal psychomotor and behavioral development and had reached the expected milestones for her age.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Unlike the phenothiazines, aripiprazole has a minimal effect on serum prolactin levels and it has been used to reverse hyperprolactinemia in nonlactating patients taking other antipsychotics. However, 2 cases of galactorrhea apparently caused by aripiprazole have been reported.
One woman began taking aripiprazole 10 mg daily at week 20 of pregnancy. She underwent a cesarean section delivery at term, but was unable to establish lactation. The authors suggested that more data are needed to determine if aripiprazole adversely affects lactation.
A woman took aripiprazole 10 mg daily by mouth beginning in week 9 of pregnancy and continuing postpartum. She exclusively breastfed her infant for 6 weeks, but then began supplementation because of insufficient milk production. Her serum prolactin was 35 to 40 mcg/L, which is lower than expected for a nursing mother. The authors speculated that the aripiprazole might have been the cause of her low serum prolactin and diminished her milk supply.
The maternal prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.
Alternate Drugs to Consider
1. Schlotterbeck P, Leube D, Kircher T, Hiemke C, Grunder G. Aripiprazole in human milk . Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007;10:433. PMID: 17291382
2. Lutz UC, Hiemke C, Wiatr G et al. Aripiprazole in pregnancy and lactation a case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010;30:204-5. Letter. PMID: 20520299
3. Watanabe N, Kasahara M, Sugibayashi R et al. Perinatal use of aripiprazole: a case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2011;31:377-9. PMID: 21532364
4. Nordeng H, Gjerdalen G, Brede WR et al. Transfer of aripiprazole to breast milk: A case report. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014;34:272-5. PMID: 24525645
5. Goodnick PJ, Rodriguez L, Santana O. Antipsychotics: impact on prolactin levels. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2002;3:1381-91. PMID: 12387684
6. Kane JM, Carson WH, Saha AR et al. Efficacy and safety of aripiprazole and haloperidol versus placebo in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2002;63:763-71. PMID: 12363115
7. Byerly MJ, Marcus RN, Tran QV et al. Effects of aripiprazole on prolactin levels in subjects with schizophrenia during cross-titration with risperidone or olanzapine: analysis of a randomized, open-label study. Schizophr Res. 2009;107:218-22. PMID: 19038534
8. Boggs AA, Bihday C, Boggs DL. Aripiprazole's effects on risperidone consta induced hyperprolactinemia: A case report. J Pharm Pract. 2012;25:298. Abstract. DOI: doi:10.1177/0897190012441353
9. Lorenz RA, Weinstein B. Resolution of haloperidol-induced hyperprolactinemia with aripiprazole. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2007;27:524-5. PMID: 17873694
10. Rocha FL, Hara C, Ramos MG. Using aripiprazole to attenuate paliperidone-induced hyperprolactinemia. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010;34:1153-4. PMID: 20547197
11. van Kooten M, Arends J, Cohen D. Preliminary report: a naturalistic study of the effect of aripiprazole addition on risperidone-related hyperprolactinemia in patients treated with risperidone long-acting injection. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2011;31:126-8. PMID: 21192158
12. Wahl R, Ostroff R. Reversal of symptomatic hyperprolactinemia by aripiprazole. Am J Psychiatry. 2005;162:1542-3. PMID: 16055781
13. Wolf J, Fiedler U. Hyperprolactinemia and amenorrhea associated with olanzapine normalized after addition of aripiprazole. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2007;32:197-8. PMID: 17381670
14. Mendhekar DN, Andrade C. Galactorrhea with aripiprazole. Can J Psychiatry. 2005;50:243. Letter. PMID: 15898468
15. Ruffatti A, Minervini L, Romano M, Sonino N. Galactorrhea with aripiprazole. Psychother Psychosom. 2005;74:391-2. PMID: 16244518
16. Mendhekar D, Sunder KR, Andrade C. Aripiprazole use in a pregnant schizoaffective woman. Bipolar Disord. 2006;8:299-300. PMID: 16696834
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