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Can I nurse and take Klonopin?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
HI all,
I gave birth on Monday to a beautiful baby girl. We moved to a new state this summer, my husband started a new job, my three year old has had some major behavioral issues as a result of everything, and he was just diagnosed with juevenille rheumatoid arthritis. It has been an awful time, but the birth has actually been the highlight since it was so wonderful. Anyhow, I am dying with anxiety. I am on 25 mg of zoloft to start, then will up to 50 in another week or so. I have only been on it for about seven days. I had an inpatient consult at the hospital and the psychiatrist said that if I wasn't nursing, I could take klonopin. One day was so bad, that I pumped and dumped and bottle fed and took the klonopin. It was such a good day. The anxiety is just so unbearable right now, I don't know what to do. I am ready to quit nursing if it means I can take klonopin. I don't want to feel this way. I am also worried that the zoloft won't work for me.
Has anyone taken xanax, klonopin, or ativan while nursing? Just for a short time until their ssri kicks in?
post #2 of 7
I don't have the link on hand, but Dr. Thomas Hale (of Texas Tech University)revises his book, Medications and Mothers Milk each year and also has a wonderful website. If I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure that Klonopin IS compatible with breastfeeding and the milk transfer ratio is minimal. If you do a search, I'm positive you can find the exact reference you need to feel comfortable making your decision.

IME, the loss of breastfeeding would have been devastating--in fact, it was about the only good thing I had going on at the time . Anyway, if you have access to a La Leche League leader in your area, she can get access to Dr. Hale's book and read to you the most recent references for specific drugs.

FWIW, the dosage of Zoloft you mentioned is fairly low, so if you don't see an improvement, it might not be the drug, but the dosage. Zoloft is the SSRI of choice for nursing mothers according to Dr. Hale in his Mothering Magazine article. I know most physicians are hesitant to prescribe ANY medications to breastfeeding women---if only they bothered to do the research, we wouldn't be throwing our precious breastmilk down the drain when it's almost always unnecessary.

Hope you get to feeling better soon. I know how hard it is
post #3 of 7
I don't have an answer for you but !
post #4 of 7
First I know what you are going through I struggle every day,,

As far as I have been told ..none of these meds including SSRI's are good while breastfeeding.
I take a much higher class SSRI then you do so maybe it is just my med class doc was speaking of ..but I would hate for you to have been misinformed.
I have been told do not take klonopin or atavan while breastfeeding.. so in my opinion I wouldnt breastfeed while taking them ...
I wish you all the best and hope that things will work out in your favor,...If you find that these meds are safe then really it will have to be a personal choice if you trust that.
post #5 of 7
I don't know whether Klonipin could be taken while breastfeeding or not, but I do know that it is addictive, whereas I think the SSRI's are typically not. That might be something to consider...also, the anti-convulsant drugs (Klonipin's technically in that category) can contribute to bone loss, so if you do take it, you might want to take additional measures to help prevent osteoporosis long-term. (Based on the experience of a family member.)
post #6 of 7
Here is a link, which I hope you find somewhat helpful. I highly recommend getting a hold of Dr. Hale's book, which apparently discussed Klonopin in much more detail so you can show your HCP. When you go to his site, you can enter as a guest and search for more info.

BTW, Dr. Hale has written extensively on the risk of not medicating depression vs. taking SSRIs. He has listed Zoloft as the SSRI of choice, as the milk transfer ratio is extremely low and half-life short. You can do a search here on Mothering's website under articles for his article about breastfeeding and medications. There is also info on his site about all classifications of drugs, including anti-anxiety drugs.

SSRIs are ok for nursing mamas!!!! Just be sure to arm yourself with factual information based on scientific evidence and not just rely someone's uneducated opinion (sadly, I've met way too many mamas who were told to wean for no reason other than their healthcare provider didn't know where to look for up-to-date info that was appropriate for breastfeeding mothers---or didn't bother to begin with).....look to the baby and follow your instincts. And check in here and let us know how you're doing, ok????

post #7 of 7
I just noticed he says the Klonopin is "reasonably safe" and it's classified as a benzodiapine (sp? sorry, it's late, I'm not much for spelling these days.) You might also want to do a search under that category to gather more info to make a decision you feel good about.

Hope you're feeling better quickly

Congrats on your little one, mama!
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