Anxiety meds and breastfeeding? Update! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-10-2008, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I would do a search but since it's down I figured I would just ask....

I think I need to take prescription meds for anxiety and I'm not sure what is generally recommended. I have moderate/severe anxiety and a slew of other issues I gained from reading others posts. I have been in therapy since my son was 6 months and I am not feeling better. I am exhausted from all the worry and thoughts and I have stressed my marriage to the breaking point. I think I am a good mother but my husband has really made comments about my worrying affecting out lo.

I have not wanted to take meds because I am breastfeeding and I feel guilty like I should wean my son. He is 17 months and I know a lot of mother's would have weaned by now. But nursing is such a huge part of our relationship and connection and I don't really want to wean yet.

I could take any advice because I have never really pursued a lifelong "treatment" to my anxiety. I mean I have been on meds off and on but I always stop taking them when I feel better, which is obviously not working.

SO, what meds are generally prescribed for anxiety and obsessive disorders? I am seeing a naturopathic dr and a therapist. Would a naturopathic dr be able to prescribe conventional meds. Oh, and I have hypothyroid but am now adjusting meds because I went hyper....

Thanks for reading.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#2 of 11 Old 07-10-2008, 05:10 AM
 
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I've had good suucess personally with Lexapro for anxiety and depression and it's ok for breastfeeding. I'm actually taking it while pregnant and will continue to take it while nursing this one. I feel ok with it based on everything me and my pdoc and the genetic counselor, etc discussed and what I researched.

I know there are others out there, but that's the only thing I have personal experience with.
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#3 of 11 Old 07-10-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I took anti dp and klonopin or ativan while BF...my baby is great! 2 1/2 now, and healthy. I just tried to use the smallest dose possible that helped my anxiety. I also really did well on Lexapro, and it is easy to come off of (I thought) when you want. You should check into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety too...very effective.
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#4 of 11 Old 07-10-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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I am under the impression that Xanax is safe for nursing but I use it on an as-needed basis, not daily. I don't know if that helps but I feel for you. It's tough to parent when anxieties slow us down.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-11-2008, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to make an appointment with a psychiatrist so I can get meds. I spoke to my marriage counselor and he recommended group therapy and psycodrama therapy( sp?).

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#6 of 11 Old 07-13-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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The Benzos are relatively safe for nursing (Ativan, valium, klonopin etc). I would stay away from Xanax for 2 reasons: 1) it's the most addictive of the set and 2) it's the shortest acting. You should be able to get relief from one of the others. If you have chronic anxiety, or if your symptoms are coupled with depression or something along the OCD spectrum (rituals, cleaning obsession, nail biting...) you might want to look at an SSRI like Zoloft.

Also, read the Mood Cure by Julia Ross, her diet alone can be amazingly helpful, especially for a nursing mother.

Non drug options for anxiety include (in order starting with those least likely to impact baby):
Calms Forte (homeopathic)
Rescue Remedy (homeopathic)
GABA (supplement, this is the brain chemical Benzos impact)
B vitamins, especially B-6
Magnolia bark (as found in diet aid relacore)
Valerian root (potent sleep inducer, not necessarily a first choice)

if sleep is lacking you might also try Melatonin, which has been studied and found safe in infants as young as 6 months.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-16-2008, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your advice.

Monday night I had a panic attack and drove my self to the hospital at 1 in the morning. I have NEVER had this kind of anxiety. They were really great and gave me lorazapam. I haven't taken any this morning because I'm feeling better and I also scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist for this afternoon.

The crazy thing is that I think this is very much related to my thyroid. I had hypo then I was really hyper and then hypo within three weeks. On top of that I was taking benadryl to fall asleep because none of the natural meds my dr prescribed were working anymore. So, I am going to dr today thankfully.

thanks for reading

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#8 of 11 Old 07-16-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin'smom View Post
Thanks everyone for your advice.

Monday night I had a panic attack and drove my self to the hospital at 1 in the morning. I have NEVER had this kind of anxiety. They were really great and gave me lorazapam. I haven't taken any this morning because I'm feeling better and I also scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist for this afternoon.

The crazy thing is that I think this is very much related to my thyroid. I had hypo then I was really hyper and then hypo within three weeks. On top of that I was taking benadryl to fall asleep because none of the natural meds my dr prescribed were working anymore. So, I am going to dr today thankfully.

thanks for reading
I think it makes sense that it is likely related to your thyroid. It's amazing how many things like that can be related.

Glad you are going to the doctor today! Best to you!
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#9 of 11 Old 07-18-2008, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the dr prescribed zoloft and xanax. She said that I should start the zoloft and take the xanax if i feel panicy. I feel panicky all the time. How does this happen out of the blue? I can only assume it's related to my thyroid because I've never felt like this before. I am still nursing my lo but I'm thinking about weaning because I can't possibly nurse him on benzos right? But that just makes me anxious thinking about it. I actually woke up feeling anxious. ugh

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#10 of 11 Old 07-21-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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You can nurse on Zoloft. I am not sure about zanax.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-23-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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If the dr. knows you're nursing and gave you xanax, it should be okay. If you find you're taking it daily, go back and get klonopin. Just because xanax is so highly addictive. If the Lorazepam (ativan) worked in the er, that would be okay too (it's the least addictive). Benzos aren't the mildest drugs, but they aren't absolute no-no's while nursing. They are sedating, though, so I'd time it around nursing. I'm guessing that at 17 months you're not nursing every 2 hours anymore, so take your meds after nursing.

Did you try Valerian Root for sleep? It's an incredible sleep aid AND it is anti-anxiety. I'd pop 2 after last evening nursing and go to sleep. It really works for me, and prescriptions don't!

Explain "feeling panicky", because there's a difference between high anxiety and a panic attack. For instance, I feel anxious a lot, even really anxious, but when I'm having a panic attack I feel nauseous, I feel like I might start crying at any second, my chests starts to tighten, it's hard to breathe...that's why I take klonopin. I don't take it because I'm anxious, I take it to stop/prevent those panic attacks that make it nearly impossible to move.

If your thyroid meds were too high, then a benzo is going to be the most effective at counteracting those symptoms. If you have anxiety or something on the OCD spectrum, then ultimately an SSRI is likely to be the best treatment for you.
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