Silenor and Breastfeeding

Because Silenor (doxepin tablets) passes through breast milk, the manufacturer of this drug recommends that women use Silenor with caution while nursing a child. Research studies have shown that the active ingredient could cause problems such as excessive drowsiness and breathing difficulties in a breastfed infant. Before using Silenor, breastfeeding women should ask their healthcare providers about the potential risks.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Silenor?

Silenor® (doxepin tablets) passes through breast milk in humans. The manufacturer of Silenor recommends that women use this medication with caution while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Silenor.

What Does the Research Say About Silenor and Breastfeeding?

Studies have shown that doxepin (the active ingredient in Silenor) passes through breast milk. There has been one report of apnea (dangerously slow or irregular breathing) and drowsiness in an infant who was exposed to doxepin through breast milk. However, the infant's mother was taking a much higher doxepin dosage (to treat depression) than is used in Silenor.
In another case, an infant exposed to doxepin through breast milk developed drowsiness, low muscle tone, poor sucking and swallowing, and vomiting.
In general, medications that contain doxepin (including Silenor) are thought to be inappropriate for use while breastfeeding, especially if you are nursing a newborn. In some cases, doxepin might be appropriate, if extra caution is taken (to watch for side effects) and if the infant is older.
If your healthcare provider decides that it is okay for you to take Silenor while nursing, make sure to watch for any changes or problems in your infant. In particular, you might watch for excessive drowsiness or breathing difficulties.
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Silenor Medication Information

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