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Safety of Many Drugs During Breast-Feeding Unclear

Only about a third of psychotropic drugs considered safe based on current evidence

TUESDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Only about two-thirds of psychotropic drugs can even be evaluated for their safety while breast-feeding, and only about a third of these can be judged as safe to use based on current evidence, according to a review published online Sept. 7 in Pediatrics.

Filomena Fortinguerra, and colleagues from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, reviewed the medical literature regarding breast-feeding and newborn infant exposure to 96 psychotropic medications and identified 183 eligible articles.

The researchers were able to obtain documentation for 62 drugs (65 percent). They found that 19 psychotropic drugs (31 percent) could be safely used during lactation based on current evidence (relative infant dosage was less than 10 percent of the maternal dosage and no relevant adverse effects have been reported), the safety of 28 drugs could not be established and should be used with caution, and 15 drugs were contraindicated during breast-feeding.

"Although most drugs are considered safe during breast-feeding, compatibility with breast-feeding has not been established for all psychotropic drugs," Fortinguerra and colleagues conclude.

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