Protriptyline use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Protriptyline: Vivactil
Medically reviewed on November 30, 2017.
Protriptyline Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
If protriptyline is required by the mother, it is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. However, because there is no published experience with protriptyline during breastfeeding, other agents may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.
Maternal Levels.Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Published information on protriptyline was not found as of the revision date. Follow-up for 1 to 3 years in a group of 20 breastfed infants whose mothers were taking a tricyclic antidepressant found no adverse effects on growth and development. Two small controlled studies indicate that other tricyclic antidepressants have no adverse effect on infant development. In another study, 25 infants whose mothers took a tricyclic antidepressant during pregnancy and lactation were tested formally between 15 to 71 months and found to have normal growth and development.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
An observational study looked at outcomes of 2859 women who took an antidepressant during the 2 years prior to pregnancy. Compared to women who did not take an antidepressant during pregnancy, mothers who took an antidepressant during all 3 trimesters of pregnancy were 37% less likely to be breastfeeding upon hospital discharge. Mothers who took an antidepressant only during the third trimester were 75% less likely to be breastfeeding at discharge. Those who took an antidepressant only during the first and second trimesters did not have a reduced likelihood of breastfeeding at discharge. The antidepressants used by the mothers were not specified.
A retrospective cohort study of hospital electronic medical records from 2001 to 2008 compared women who had been dispensed an antidepressant during late gestation (n = 575) to those who had a psychiatric illness but did not receive an antidepressant (n = 1552) and mothers who did not have a psychiatric diagnosis (n = 30,535). Women who received an antidepressant were 37% less likely to be breastfeeding at discharge than women without a psychiatric diagnosis, but no less likely to be breastfeeding than untreated mothers with a psychiatric diagnosis. None of the mothers were taking protriptyline.
Alternate Drugs to Consider
1. Misri S, Sivertz K. Tricyclic drugs in pregnancy and lactation: a preliminary report. Int J Psychiatry Med. 1991;21:157-71. PMID: 1894455
2. Buist A, Janson H. Effect of exposure to dothiepin and northiaden in breast milk on child development. Br J Psychiatry. 1995;167:370-3. PMID: 7496646
3. Yoshida K, Smith B, Craggs M et al. Investigation of pharmacokinetics and possible adverse effects in infants exposed to tricyclic antidepressants in breast-milk. J Affective Disord. 1997;43:225-37. PMID: 9186793
4. Nulman I, Rovet J, Stewart DE et al. Child development following exposure to tricyclic antidepressants or fluoxetine throughout fetal life: a prospective, controlled study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002;159:1889-95. PMID: 12411224
5. Venkatesh KK, Castro VM, Perlis RH et al. Impact of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy on obstetric outcomes among women previously treated for depression: An observational cohort study. J Perinatol. 2017;37:1003-9. PMID: 28682318
6. Leggett C, Costi L, Morrison JL et al. Antidepressant use in late gestation and breastfeeding rates at discharge from hospital. J Hum Lact. 2017;33:701-9. PMID: 28984528
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Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.
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- Drug class: tricyclic antidepressants
Other brands: Vivactil