Sertraline and breastfeeding: review and meta-analysis

Emily Pinheiro*, Debra L. Bogen, Denada Hoxha, Jody D. Ciolino, Katherine L. Wisner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the risk-benefit profile of sertraline treatment during breastfeeding, summarized the available literature on sertraline use, presented previously unpublished data, and performed a correlation-based meta-analysis of sertraline serum levels in mother-infant pairs. We conducted a search of PubMed and the National Library of Medicine LactMed database. We performed a meta-analysis to examine correlations between maternal and infant serum sertraline levels in the existing literature and in previously unpublished data. Of 167 available infant sertraline levels, 146 (87.4 %) were below the limit of detection, and the meta-analysis found no significant relationship between maternal and infant sertraline concentrations. Of 150 infant desmethylsertraline levels, 105 (70.0 %) were below the limit of detection. The correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between maternal and infant desmethylsertraline concentrations, but this metabolite has only a fraction of the activity of sertraline. A significant relationship was also found for the sum of sertraline and desmethylsertraline, which stems primarily from the contribution of desmethylsertraline. Sertraline is a first-line drug for breastfeeding women due to documented low levels of exposure in breastfeeding infants and very few adverse events described in case reports. Based on the current literature, neither routine serum sampling nor genotyping is warranted for breastfeeding mothers taking sertraline and/or their infants. Routine pediatric care is appropriate monitoring for breastfed infants of women who take sertraline monotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Postpartum depression
  • Sertraline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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