Ultimate Guide: Is It Safe To Take Drugs During Breastfeeding?


If you are a breastfeeding mother, we salute you. The joy of breastfeeding cannot be described unless you have experienced it for yourself. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your baby is to breastfeed him or her, as it not only provides a wealth of benefits to your baby but also increases that special bonding between the two of you. It is obvious that you only want the best for your baby, and there is no compromise on quality when it comes to that little bundle of joy. So you must also be aware of what drugs are safe for your baby while you are breastfeeding, and whether or not it is even safe to take any drugs during this crucial period.

Here is Ultimate Guide: Is It Safe To Take Drugs During Breastfeeding?

Is It Safe To Take Drugs During Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby but also does wonders for you. By breastfeeding, you have already ensured a better immunity for your baby. It protects your baby from easy-to-catch diseases, childhood cancers and builds stronger bones. So you must remember that everything you take during this period tampers with your breast milk as it can directly affect your baby. Fortunately, it has been proven that most drugs are safe to take during breastfeeding. The drugs present in most medicines are not significant enough to provide a threat to your baby.

Which Are The Safe Drugs While Breastfeeding?

While it has been said that most drugs are safe to take during breastfeeding, you can never be too cautious to ensure that your baby gets the best and is not affected by your mistakes. Since the drugs you are ingesting are directly sent into your bloodstream and make themselves present in your breast milk, there are risks these drugs may pose a threat to your baby. Here are some safe drugs during breastfeeding that are quite common in our daily life.

1. Pain Relievers:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others) — short-term use only

2. Antimicrobial Medications:

  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Miconazole (Monistat 3, Micaderm, others)
  • Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin, others)
  • Penicillins (amoxicillin, ampicillin, others)

3. Decongestants:

  • Saline nasal drops
  • Medications containing pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Zyrtec)
  • Progestin-only contraceptives, such as the minipill

4. Gastrointestinal Medications:

  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)

5. Antidepressants:

  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

6. Constipation Medications:

  • Docusate sodium (Colace)

Do All Medications Pass Into Breast Milk?

Almost any drug that you ingest will pass into your bloodstream and transfer to your breast milk.

  • It should be noted that the level of drugs present will be low in your breast milk, but it might still affect your baby.
  • It is always recommended to consult your doctor before taking any drugs.
  • It is also advisable not to take any drugs unless absolutely required.

Drugs To Avoid While Breastfeeding:

There are certain drugs which should be avoided by you if you are breastfeeding. Here they are:

  • Antineoplastics and Immunosuppressants are such drugs which you should avoid. Due to their inherently toxic nature, they may pose a threat to your baby’s health.
  • Iodine is very easily released into the breast milk, so drugs containing a high level of iodine must be completely avoided by you since it can cause hypothyroidism to your baby.
  • Drugs containing Lithium Carbonate are can be potentially dangerous if present in your breast milk.
  • Social drugs and drugs of abuse are seen to affect growing fetus.
  • Cigarette smoking is not recommended at all as even small levels of nicotine are detectable in your breast milk. It can consequently pose a high risk to your baby.

What To Do If Your Baby Reacts To A Drug?

While taking drugs, if at all you do, during breastfeeding, notice and look for signs or symptoms in your baby.

  • If you think he or she is reacting, it is recommended to consult with your pediatrician as soon as you can. This is to avoid any permanent damage to your baby’s health.
  • It is advisable to not take any drugs if you are not sure about its risk to your baby. Also do not take any unnecessary drugs, as ultimately they might wrongly affect your baby.

Your baby’s health and safety is and should be your topmost priority. Be extremely cautious as to what drugs you are taking during this period since drug safety during breastfeeding is crucial. We sincerely hope that this article helps you understand as to which drugs are safe for you to take. Kindly share this article with other mothers too and help them become aware of the same during their special phase of life. This article was an Ultimate Guide: Is It Safe To Take Drugs During Breastfeeding?.

Read this article (A Complete Guide: Is It Safe To Take Painkillers While Breastfeeding?)

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