Zoloft and sleep disturbances in breastfed toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-02-2009, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I have been on zoloft/sertaline since February, when DD was 6 months old, after severe ppd, and have been nursing her all along. It has been such a lifesaver... it helped me climb out of the dark hole I was in and I have had no adverse side effects. However, DD is now 15 months and she is a terrible sleeper, still. She had lots of gas troubles that kept her up when she was little, but in the past few months it's been different. She'll wake up abruptly, crying hysterically like she is scared and she does not respond when we go in and hug her. She will fall back alseep only when she is nursed or rocked.

This happens several times a night, and lately DH and I have started to wonder if it's nightmares. And this morning it struck me: could it be because of the meds? I know it is the safest SSRI out there, but still gets transferred through the milk. When I searched through medical articles, I saw a few different mentions of it causing "sleep disturbance" and/or "crying." And I know one thing myself: I have CRAZY, vivid dreams on it, so why wouldn't she?

I know I should have thought of this and did my research earlier, but I'm not the most proactive person since going on zoloft... I sort of just go with the flow and not worry. But this has snapped me out of that. Anyhow, just wanted to see if anyone out there has had similar problems. I called our pediatrician today but they did not get back to me. I assume they might tell me to 1) wean her or 2) wean myself. Any advice from you all? And what about timing meds? I read a few different things about taking the pills at a certain time before nursing to minimize its effects.


Angela, loving wife and mother of DD, born 8/6/2008.
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#2 of 3 Old 11-02-2009, 10:38 PM
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I am also on Zoloft and it has effected my sleep. MY psychiatrist advised me to take the zoloft at night because it takes 6-8 hours to peak in your blood stream. The baby is theoretically sleeping more at this time and will get limited exposure to the medicine. I am not able to take it at night because it keeps me awake. I used to pump and dump at the peak time with my first child but I have stopped doing this.

I wonder if your daughter is just getting night terrors--seems to me they start when toddlers are a bit older (around 2?) but maybe this is it.

What is your dose? Maybe an adjustment to a lower dose? Are you seeing a psychiatrist?
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#3 of 3 Old 11-04-2009, 10:17 AM
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I do think adjusting to taking it at night may be your best bet. When I was nursing I would also medicate at night, usually right after dd went to sleep. She was 18 months when I started taking Lexapro (I think....maybe closer to 15 like your dd). She had never been a great sleeper, if anything she slept longer stretches after a night-nursing. But we didn't have "night terror" like problems until well after she was weaned.

I wish I could help better. Poison control has info on the drug and nursing, and you can call them even if it's not an emergency, ask them to look in the Hale's book to see if any of that information can help you.

~Autumn~   Mama to whistling.gif (2001) and hearts.gif(2005) partners.gif madly in love since '99 
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