Is anyone breast feeding on Effexor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-09-2005, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I have had severe OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)and anxiety since I was 17. Just before I got married I started to take Effexor XR 150mgs. This medication saved my life. It has been my saving grace. While on Effexor I am a completely healthy person. When I decided to get pregnant with #1 my psychiastrist and GP reccommended I not continue effexor because there were not enough studies indicating it was safe. I switched to Luvox. I had no OCD or anxiety during PG I suspect because the PG hormones helped a lot. After was a whole different story. My DD would not breastfeed at all and I nievly gave up probably too soon and bottle fed her. I had severe PPD and PPOCD (postpartum OCD). I soon switched back to effexor and immediately became well.

When I decided to become PG with #2 I quickly fould out that it was now tested and proven safe to continue the effexor throughout the pregnancy. However after a lot of internet research I discovered that effexor passes though the breastmilk and that the mother should decide between the breastfeeding and the effexor. I couldn't find anything that said it was safe to breast feed. My husband and I sat down and decided that it was better for me to stay on the medication for all of our sakes especially my daughter who had never experienced me with depression and anxiety. We very reluctantly decided to immediately bottle feed our son.

It pains me so deeply that I haven't had the experience of breastfeeding either of my children.

Please tell me there is hope for our next baby to bf.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-09-2005, 08:48 PM
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Hi. I hope it's ok, I just cut-and-pasted my response to a previous thread below, because it's relevant:

I have taken effexor through ivf, 2 pregnancies, nursing and now tandem nursing. I also took paxil through ivf, the 1st pregnancy, and nursing.

I think the question you have to ask yourself is: really, how good is it for a fetus/newborn/infant/small child to be exposed to a severely depressed mom for any extended length of time? I really didn't want to bathe my fetuses(feti?)/babies/kids in my own sadness and despair, and I didn't want to risk neglecting them because of distorted perspective and preoccupation with my own sad thoughts.

I have 2 bright, healthy kids, developing normally as far as I can tell. And I haven't felt like the world would be better off without me in several years now!

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#3 of 8 Old 09-09-2005, 09:37 PM
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Dr. Hale considers it safe and says there have been no reported side effects in full term infants. I'd feel safe using it if I needed it. Good luck!
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#4 of 8 Old 09-12-2005, 11:59 AM
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I have nursed and been pregnant on effexor now for my four youngest children. It works. As Lauradoc said, the effects of being exposed to a depressed mother long term are not good...
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#5 of 8 Old 09-13-2005, 02:01 PM
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I'm NOT a doctor or medical expert, but the way I understand it, if something is safe during pregnancy, it's safe while nursing. The rationale is that a much higher dose is transmitted to the baby during pregnancy, so if that dose is safe, why wouldn't a smaller dose also be safe? Essentially, when pregnant, your blood supply is the baby's blood supply, so baby has the same amount of medication circulating in his blood as you do. When nursing, baby has his own blood supply and only gets the quantity that comes through in your milk. It is not his entire blood supply.

GL either way!
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#6 of 8 Old 10-01-2005, 04:20 AM
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I am pregnant and on Effexor but what I have researched online reassure that Effexor will not harm the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is true that it crossed over the placenta and in breast milk, but the studies indicate these amounts in both situations are extremely small and have not shown any adverse effects in babies. Here are links to some of the studies/assessments. My non-professional opinion is that you have no reason to not breastfeed your babies while taking Effexor. I have every intention of breastfeeding mine.
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#7 of 8 Old 10-12-2005, 04:44 PM
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I am EBF and on Effexor XR. I love it. Take 150mg per day. I imagine I will not get off of it either. I am a new person on Effexor. I am a better mother, my anxiety levels are much better, I am more energetic, and overall have had a good experience with it. I've seen no ill effects in my baby while on it. She is happy and alert, eats well, sleeps in 5-6 hour stretches, and is more physically advanced than my last baby.

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#8 of 8 Old 10-16-2005, 12:10 AM
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posted to the wrong thread---sorry!!!

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
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