Amitriptyline is in the FDA’s category C for pregnancy medications. This classification indicates that there has not been enough research done on the effects of this medication in pregnant women and their fetuses.
This medication does cross the placenta and has been associated with a few cases of adverse effects in human infants, such as developmental delays and limb deformities. However, it is not known if the use of this medication during pregnancy was responsible for these adverse effects.
Studies involving animals have shown that this medication can cause adverse effects on developing fetuses. During these studies, animals were given much higher doses of amitriptyline compared to the recommended dosages for humans. Women should discuss the risks of amitriptyline and pregnancy with their medical provider.
Amitriptyline and Breastfeeding
Amitriptyline does pass into breast milk, which might cause side effects in children who are breastfeeding. However, more research on potential effects of this medication on nursing infants is needed. One report showed amitriptyline in the mother’s serum, although this medication was not found in the infant’s serum. Women who are nursing should discuss the risks of taking amitriptyline while breastfeeding, so that their medical provider can advise them on whether to switch to another medication or stop taking this medication.