Can You Take Lexapro While Breastfeeding?

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By Krystal Duhaney | Updated on Dec 3, 2023
Image for article Can You Take Lexapro While Breastfeeding?

Yes, it’s generally safe to use Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, while breastfeeding. 

Research shows that maternal doses up to 20 mg daily produce low levels in milk and wouldn’t typically be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants 1 , especially those older than two months. 

However, a few cases 2 of minor behavioral issues, a seizure-like event in an infant also exposed to bupropion, and one case 3 of necrotizing enterocolitis have been reported. But keep in mind that these situations aren’t definitively linked to Lexapro and remain relatively rare. It's important to monitor your baby for any changes such as drowsiness, restlessness, agitation, poor feeding, or weight gain issues. 

It's also worth noting that mothers taking an SSRI like Lexapro may require additional breastfeeding support 4 due to possible difficulties related to their mental health conditions. 

Overall, if Lexapro is required for your mental health, it's not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding your medication and breastfeeding.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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  1. "Escitalopram"Apr 18, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501275/.

  2. Gal Neuman, David Colantonio, Sarah Delaney, Mark Szynkaruk, Shinya Ito "Bupropion and Escitalopram During Lactation"SageJounals, vol. 48, no. 7Jul 1, 2014, pp. 928-931https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24732787/.

  3. A L Potts, K L Young, B S Carter, J P Shenai"Necrotizing enterocolitis associated with in utero and breast milk exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram"Journal of Perinatology, vol. 27, no. 2Feb 1, 2007, pp. 120-122Necrotizing enterocolitis associated with in utero and breast milk exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram.

  4. Luke E Grzeskowiak, Catherine Leggett, Lynn Costi, Claire T Roberts, Lisa H Amir "Impact of serotonin reuptake inhibitor use on breast milk supply in mothers of preterm infants: a retrospective cohort study"The British Pharmacological Society, vol. 84, no. 6Apr 14, 2018, pp. 1373-1379https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29522259/.


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Updated on Dec 3, 2023

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Can You Take Lexapro While Breastfeeding?

 Krystal Duhaney Profile Photo
By Krystal Duhaney | Updated on Dec 3, 2023
Image for article Can You Take Lexapro While Breastfeeding?

Yes, it’s generally safe to use Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, while breastfeeding. 

Research shows that maternal doses up to 20 mg daily produce low levels in milk and wouldn’t typically be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants 1 , especially those older than two months. 

However, a few cases 2 of minor behavioral issues, a seizure-like event in an infant also exposed to bupropion, and one case 3 of necrotizing enterocolitis have been reported. But keep in mind that these situations aren’t definitively linked to Lexapro and remain relatively rare. It's important to monitor your baby for any changes such as drowsiness, restlessness, agitation, poor feeding, or weight gain issues. 

It's also worth noting that mothers taking an SSRI like Lexapro may require additional breastfeeding support 4 due to possible difficulties related to their mental health conditions. 

Overall, if Lexapro is required for your mental health, it's not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. Always consult with your healthcare provider regarding your medication and breastfeeding.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. "Escitalopram"Apr 18, 2022https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501275/.

  2. Gal Neuman, David Colantonio, Sarah Delaney, Mark Szynkaruk, Shinya Ito "Bupropion and Escitalopram During Lactation"SageJounals, vol. 48, no. 7Jul 1, 2014, pp. 928-931https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24732787/.

  3. A L Potts, K L Young, B S Carter, J P Shenai"Necrotizing enterocolitis associated with in utero and breast milk exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram"Journal of Perinatology, vol. 27, no. 2Feb 1, 2007, pp. 120-122Necrotizing enterocolitis associated with in utero and breast milk exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram.

  4. Luke E Grzeskowiak, Catherine Leggett, Lynn Costi, Claire T Roberts, Lisa H Amir "Impact of serotonin reuptake inhibitor use on breast milk supply in mothers of preterm infants: a retrospective cohort study"The British Pharmacological Society, vol. 84, no. 6Apr 14, 2018, pp. 1373-1379https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29522259/.


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