January 27, 2010
Taking Prozac, Paxil, or other antidepressants from the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause delays in lactation in new mothers and difficulty in breast-feeding newborns, a new study says.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found SSRIs can result in delayed secretory activation after giving birth. SSRIs regulate the hormone serotonin in the body to stave off depression, but the hormone also is crucial to the breasts’ ability to deliver milk when it is needed, the study’s authors said.
A delay in breast milk production caused by taking SSRIs can “impact serotonin regulation in the breast, placing new mothers at greater risk of a delay in the establishment of a full milk supply,” the study found.
The study’s findings are troubling because millions of people take Prozac, Paxil, and other brands of SSRIs to treat a variety of depression-related disorders. Paxil and other SSRI drugs have been linked before to other serious health complications, including heart-related birth defects and pre-term labor.