Versacloz (clozapine oral suspension) is known to pass through breast milk in women. There have been reports of this drug causing sedation and a potentially serious condition that affects certain white blood cells in infants whose mothers used this drug while nursing. Due to the potentially serious risks, the manufacturer recommends that nursing women either not use Versacloz or not breastfeed.
As mentioned, Versacloz passes through breast milk. There have been reports of sedation and a condition known as agranulocytosis occurring in nursing infants whose mothers took clozapine (the active ingredient in Versacloz). Agranulocytosis is a potentially serious condition in which the body has dangerously low levels of granulocytes, a type of white blood cell. However, Versacloz has not been adequately studied in breastfeeding women to determine the full effects of the drug on a nursing child.
Versacloz can cause potentially serious side effects. Because of the potential risk for these side effects to occur in a nursing infant, the manufacturer of the drug recommends women either be treated with Versacloz or breastfeed, but not do both.
If your healthcare provider recommends this drug while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any side effects in your child, including sedation. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood tests to monitor your child's white blood cell levels.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and Versacloz use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Versacloz [package insert]. Palo Alto, CA: Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2013 February.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
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