Is Celexa (Citalopram) Safe While Breastfeeding?

Celexa While Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding triggers the onset of many changes. Some of the ways these changes manifest include postpartum depression, panic disorders, and anxiety attacks. And, even though you may have used quick-fix OTCs like Celexa or Citalopram to treat such conditions earlier in your life, as a breastfeeding mom what if its use affects your nursing baby now?

So, if you are trying to understand whether the use of Celexa while breastfeeding can be harmful to you or your child, or looking for some information on antidepressant drugs, reading this post may be a good idea.

What is Celexa (Citalopram)?

Celexa is the brand name of the drug Citalopram. Citalopram is an antidepressant, which falls in the category of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Citalopram is used to treat anxiety, depression and some other mental conditions such as panic disorder [1].

SSRIs increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with mental balance and improves mood. SSRIs are very effective in the treatment of postpartum depression. SSRIs are also used during pregnancy to treat severe depression and anxiety symptoms [2].

[ Read:Safe Antidepressants While Breastfeeding ]

Is It Safe To Use Celexa While Breastfeeding?

Celexa is generally safe to use while breastfeeding. However, like all drugs, Citalopram also transfers into your breast milk but in low amounts. The common side effects in your baby due to your Citalopram use are increased fussiness and drowsiness. Citalopram doesn’t cause any adverse effects on the development of nursing infants.

  • If you used Celexa during your pregnancy and if your depression symptoms after birth, your doctor may ask you to continue using Citalopram. However, your doctor may ask you to monitor your baby’s behavior for any side effects [3].
  • If you have been using Citalopram during your pregnancy, your doctor is not likely to change the medication while you are nursing your baby. But in cases of preterm births, your doctor may prescribe you a drug that passes into breast milk in even lower amounts than Celexa [4].
  • If you are a nursing mother, use Citalopram while breastfeeding only if your doctor approves it.

Side Effects Of Celexa While Breastfeeding:

Celexa can cause many side effects while you are breastfeeding.

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss

At times, taking Celexa while breastfeeding can also cause severe side effects that may require immediate medical attention.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • High fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rash, blisters
  • Swollen hands, feet, throat, tongue or lips
  • Poor concentration, problems with memory
  • Seizures

[ Read: Is Zoloft Safe While Breastfeeding ]

Using SSR Is While Breastfeeding:

The use of SSRIs such as Citalopram is considered safe during breastfeeding. Nursing infants do not experience any major side effects or developmental problems with maternal use of SSRI drugs.

But your doctor may prescribe you SSRIs while you are breastfeeding only when it is necessary for your health. If you have not been taking any antidepressants during your pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe you a drug that secretes into breast milk in the least possible amounts. Citalopram may not be your doctor’s first choice of SSRI while you are breastfeeding if you have not been using it during your pregnancy or before it.

Handling Depression While Breastfeeding:

Many women suffer from depression due to extreme physical and emotional changes after giving birth. Untreated depression can cause severe damage to a woman’s health. Therefore, if your doctor considers it absolutely essential to prescribe you a safe antidepressant drug while you are breastfeeding, you can consider using it without fear of severe side effects.

  • Women with postpartum depression can experience many symptoms such as negative thoughts, decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, irritability and panic attacks.
  • Celexa is considered an effective medicine to treat postpartum depression. So, talk to your doctor about its benefits versus side effects for you to treat your depression or anxiety symptoms.
  • Seek support from your partner and family, which can be extremely beneficial for sufferers of depression.

Postpartum depression in no way means that you are a bad or inadequate mother. It is a medical condition that is easily treatable. Seek the counsel of your doctor and don’t be wary of all antidepressants while breastfeeding.

Did you need to use Celexa or any other antidepressant while breastfeeding? Did you suffer from any side effects from its use? Tell us here.

[ Read: How To Overcome Postpartum Depression ]

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