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Duloxetine Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Duloxetine is also known as: Cymbalta, Drizalma Sprinkle, Irenka

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 1, 2020.

Duloxetine Pregnancy Warnings

Animal studies have revealed increased perinatal toxicity and fetotoxicity at doses potentially correlated with maternal toxicity. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy.

Some neonates exposed to SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) late in the third trimester had clinical findings including respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. This clinical picture is consistent with either direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs, drug discontinuation syndrome, or serotonin syndrome.

A less than 2-fold increase in postpartum hemorrhage was determined by observational data in patients exposed to the drug within 1 month before birth.

A study of women with a history of major depression who were euthymic at the beginning of pregnancy, showed women who discontinued antidepressant medication during pregnancy were more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continued antidepressant medication.

To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to antidepressant therapy, a National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants has been established. Healthcare providers are encouraged to prospectively register patients. For additional information: https://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/pregnancyregistry/antidepressants/

Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients receiving Cymbalta by calling the Cymbalta Pregnancy Registry at 1-866-814-6975 or by visiting www.cymbaltapregnancyregistry.com.

AU TGA pregnancy category B3: Drugs which have been taken by only a limited number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the human fetus having been observed. Studies in animals have shown evidence of an increased occurrence of fetal damage, the significance of which is considered uncertain in humans.

US FDA pregnancy category Not Assigned: The US FDA has amended the pregnancy labeling rule for prescription drug products to require labeling that includes a summary of risk, a discussion of the data supporting that summary, and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing decisions and counsel women about the use of drugs during pregnancy. Pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X are being phased out.

This drug should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.

AU TGA pregnancy category: B3
US FDA pregnancy category: Not assigned.

Risk summary: Observational study data have not produced clear drug-associated risks regarding adverse events or major birth defects.

Comments:
-A pregnancy exposure registry is available.
-Neonates exposed to this drug late in the third trimester may require respiratory support, tube feeding, and/or prolonged hospitalization.
-Exposed neonates should be monitored after delivery for direct toxic effects of this drug, drug discontinuation syndrome, and serotonin syndrome.
-Women who discontinued antidepressant use during pregnancy were more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continued antidepressant use.

See references

Duloxetine Breastfeeding Warnings

Use is not recommended and a decision should be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Excreted into human milk: Yes

Comments:
-Some experts state that a more thoroughly studied alternative agent (e.g., nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline) may be preferred while breastfeeding premature or neonates.
-The American Academy of Pediatrics classifies other antidepressants as agents for which the effect on nursing infants is unknown but may be of concern.
-Exposed infants should be monitored for developmental milestones, feeding, sedation, weight gain, especially in younger infants who are exclusively breastfed and/or when breastfed infants are exposed to multiple antipsychotropic agents.

The estimated neonatal dose is approximately 0.1% to 0.3% of the maternal dose.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. "Product Information. Cymbalta (duloxetine)." Lilly, Eli and Company, Indianapolis, IN.
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

References for breastfeeding information

  1. National Library of Medicine (US) "Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) Available from: URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501922/" (2006):
  2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
  4. "Product Information. Cymbalta (duloxetine)." Lilly, Eli and Company, Indianapolis, IN.
  5. Briggs GG, Freeman RK. "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 10th ed." Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health (2015):
  6. United States National Library of Medicine "Toxnet. Toxicology Data Network. Available from: URL: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT." ([cited 2013 -]):

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.