The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


5137 Westlawn
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034

Release: Sept. 21, 2000

(Editors: This call for participants is a revision of a call first distributed in June. Participants are still needed for the study.)

Mothers who breastfeed and take antidepressants invited to participate in study

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care researchers are conducting a clinical trial to measure antidepressant levels in breastfeeding women who take such medication and the antidepressant levels in their infants.

Mothers age 18 or older, with infants under 12 months of age, who breastfeed at least three times a day and take antidepressants are invited to participate in the study. Infants 6 months and older must be breastfeeding, with no more than 8 oz per day of other liquids.

Participants will need to make one visit to the UI Hospitals and Clinics, where they will be asked to provide a breast milk sample and one blood sample. A small blood sample (less than 1/2 teaspoon) also will need to be collected from the infant.

Off-site participants will also be accepted, provided that appropriate arrangements for sample collection and shipment can be made with a local hospital laboratory. Collection and shipping costs will be covered by the study.

Test results will be forwarded to each participant and her designated physician(s). Compensation will be provided.

"Antidepressive medications offer effective treatment for postpartum depression, which occurs in 10 to 15 percent of women who give birth," said Alicia Weissman, M.D., UI assistant professor of family medicine and one of the principal investigators. "However, when the mother is also breastfeeding, the decision to start medication becomes very difficult."

The study will focus on newer antidepressants that are commonly used as the first line of treatment in primary care settings: Wellbutrin (buproprion), Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Effexor (venlafaxine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Celexa (citalopram), Serzone (nefazodone) and Remeron (mirtazepine).

For more information, interested participants or health care providers who want to refer patients to the study can contact Weissman at (319) 384-7950 or through the pager system by dialing (319) 356-7000 then entering Weissman's pager number of 9041.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.