II. General

  1. Assess benefit versus risk for medication
  2. Choose medications safe for Lactation
  3. Use medications with short half lives
  4. Patient Education
    1. Ask physician or pharmacist before new medication

III. Management: Antibiotics considered safe in Lactation

  1. Penicillin Antibiotics
  2. Cephalosporin Antibiotics
  3. Erythromycin (concentrated in human milk, increased risk of Pyloric Stenosis)
  4. Clindamycin
  5. Aminoglycosides
  6. Fluoroquinolones (considered safe by AAP, risk of arthropathy)
  7. Sulfa antibiotics (avoid in first month of life due to Hyperbilirubinemia risk)

IV. Management: Analgesics considered safe in Lactation

  1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  2. Aspirin (AAP recommends use with caution)
  3. Codeine
    1. Poor Analgesic
    2. May cause Sedation in infants
  4. Ibuprofen

V. Management: Anticonvulsants in Lactation

  1. Very low Breast Milk concentrations (highly bound)
    1. Phenytoin (Dilantin)
    2. Tiagabine (Gabitril)
    3. Valproate
  2. Low to moderate Breast Milk concentrations
    1. Carbamazepine
    2. Phenobarbital
    3. Lamotrigine
    4. Topiramate (Topamax)
    5. Zonegran
    6. Primidone (metabolized in part to phenobarbital)
      1. Risk of infant Sedation
      2. AAP recommends using with caution
  3. High Breast Milk concentration (minimally bound)
    1. Gabapentin
    2. Levetiracetam (Keppra)
    3. Ethosuximide (AAP: Compatible with Lactation)

VI. Management: Antidepressants considered potentially safe in Lactation

  1. AAP recommends use with caution
    1. Unknown longterm effect
    2. Use if benefits outweigh risk
  2. Preferred agents
    1. Fluoxetine (risk of colic, irritability, sleep disorders, feeding problems, decreased growth)
    2. Sertraline
    3. Paroxetine

VII. Management: Cardiovascular Medications in Lactation

  1. Antihypertensives safe in Lactation
    1. ACE Inhibitors (avoid in first 6 weeks, risk of renal toxicity in premature infants)
      1. Captopril
      2. Enalapril
      3. No data on Lisinopril
    2. Hydrochlorothiazide (may decrease milk production)
    3. Methyldopa
  2. Miscellaneous drugs considered safe in Lactation
    1. Digoxin
    2. Coumadin
    3. Heparin (not excreted into Breast Milk)

VIII. Management: Assorted medications considered safe in Lactation

  1. Magnesium Sulfate
  2. RhoGAM
  3. Rubella Vaccine
  4. Oral Contraceptives (avoid until Breast Feeding is established, after 60-90 days)
  5. Antihistamines and Decongestants
    1. Risk of decreased milk supply

IX. Management: Herbs and Teas considered safe in Lactation

  1. Avoid Caffeine more than 2 beverages per day
  2. Herbs
    1. Chamomile
    2. Garlic
    3. Ginger
    4. Ginseng
    5. Valerian
  3. Teas
    1. Chicory
    2. Orange Spice
    3. Peppermint
    4. Raspberry
    5. Red bush tea
    6. Rose hips

X. Management: Contraindicated Drugs in Lactation

  1. Medications that decrease milk production
    1. Bromocriptine
    2. Diuretics
  2. Chemotherapeutic Medications
    1. Cyclophosphamide
    2. Cyclosporine
    3. Doxorubicin
    4. Methotrexate
    5. Gold salts
    6. Propylthiouracil
    7. Methimazole
  3. Radioactive Chemicals used in Nuclear Medicine
    1. Gallium-67 (in Breast Milk up to 14 days)
    2. Indium-111 (in Breast Milk up to 20 hours)
    3. Iodine 131 (in Breast Milk up to 14 days)
    4. Radioactive Sodium (in Breast Milk up to 96 hours)
    5. Technetium-99m (in Breast Milk up to 3 days)
  4. Cardiovascular medications to avoid in Lactation
    1. Avoid Atenolol and use other Beta Blockers only with caution
    2. Avoid Acebutolol
    3. Avoid Amiodarone
  5. Miscellaneous Medications
    1. Dextroamphetamine
    2. Ergotamine
    3. Lithium
    4. Metronidazole
    5. Chloramphenicol
    6. Potassium iodide
    7. Phenindione (Anticoagulant)
  6. Drugs of Abuse
    1. Amphetamine
    2. Cocaine
    3. Heroin
    4. Marijuana
    5. Nicotine
    6. Phencyclidine

XII. References

  1. (2000) Harriet Lane Handbook, Mosby, p. 913
  2. Hale (2006) Medications and Mother's Milk, Hale Publishing
  3. Briggs (1998) Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation, 5th ed
  4. Middleton (1998) Allergy, Mosby, p. 941
  5. (1994) Pediatrics 93:137-50
  6. Howard (2001) Pediatr Clin North Am 48(2):485-504

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