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This section is written for medical professionals.

DISCLAIMER. The information and advice found on this website aims to reflect current medical knowledge and practice. However, this is not a substitute for clinical judgement and individual medical advice. The website authors accept no responsibility for any consequences arising for relying upon the information contained on this website.

If you are reading this in order to get more information on medication you have been prescribed see also treatments and fact sheets.


Written information is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical practitioner. Respect and concern are the cornerstones of a good therapeutic relationship and it is important that medication is prescribed in this context. It is essential that this is a partnership where the patient participates in the decision to take medication

General information does not always fit a specific individual. The use of medication needs to be individualised.

In prescribing any medication it is important to consider issues of

  • informed consent and
  • treatment adherence

Clearly there are many factors influencing these two issues, some of the most important being that it is often very difficult for someone suffering from depression to make decisions or to think clearly.

In pregnancy and breast feeding this is further complicated by the fact that the decision is directly affecting two peoplethe mother and the baby. Time and care should be exercised in the process of prescribing so that if a decision is made to take medication there is both a commitment to that decision and an acceptance of the uncertainty of the risks associated with it.


Thomas W. Hale (2004). Medication and Mothers’ Milk – Eleventh Edition.

(There is also an online version of this book.)

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