Can you take medication while breastfeeding? There are many
medications that can be taken during breastfeeding, but there are
medications that can cause side-effects in a baby.
This page discusses the safe and unsafe medication while breastfeeding.
Most are safe for breastfeeding with no side-effects.
Others are safe during breastfeeding, but a mother might have to keep an eye on her baby for some side-effects (mentioned below)
Some medication can be taken during breastfeeding, only if there are no
other alternative medications and your baby should be monitored for
There are medications that should be avoided as they may decrease milk supply (especially meds containing pseudo ephedrine, flu medication and contraceptives)
Then there are medications that should never be taken. if breastfeeding and these include:
1. Radioactive substances (The mother will need to pump and dump while on these, if she wishes to continue to breastfeed afterwards)
2. Anticancer drugs (antimetabolites).
3. Immunosuppressive and Antineoplastic drugs.
Things you can do to decrease the amount of any medication in your breast milk
Take the medication straight after you have breastfed your baby; this will
give the meds a longer time to leave your system before you breastfeed
Avoid taking any unnecessary medication.
Ask your doctor for safer alternative medication.
Some drugs that are known to Decrease milk production:
Estrogens (often found in birth control pills).
Ergot Alkaloids (Bromocriptine & Cabergoline).
Some drugs that are known to Increase milk production:
Motilium (Domperidone) This drug is often prescribed to increase milk production.
A list of some safe medication while breastfeeding
- Acetaminophen / paracetamol (Tylenol and Panadol) - Ibuprofin (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin) - Dextromethorphan (active ingredient in Triaminic, Robitussin, Coricidin.)
A list of medication that is still safe, but not as safe as the above medication
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Sertraline (Zoloft) and Paroxetine (Paxil). - Bupivacaine (Marcaine). - Fentanyl. Aside from being a hundred times more powerful than morphine, Fentanyl is highly addictive, and breastfeeding moms should avoid it if they can.
A list of medication that is only moderately safe while breastfeeding
- Aspirin. - Codeine.
Medications that is possibly harmful to baby while breastfeeding
Medication that should never be taken while breastfeeding