Most mothers will probably need to take medication at some point while they're breastfeeding, which can be scary since there's not a lot of information available about the effects on nursing babies, and drug manufacturers invariably say not to breastfeed while taking their products. The good news is that there are actually few meds that are truly contraindicated during breastfeeding, and for many others you may be able to minimize your baby's exposure to the drug through timing when you take it.
Obligatory disclaimer: LLL Leaders and forum members cannot guarantee the safety of taking any specific medication while breastfeeding, nor can we recommend alternative medications. Please consult with your healthcare provider about any medication information you find on the Forums.
The best resource for any questions you might have about medication while breastfeeding is the InfantRisk Center
at Texas Tech University. It was established by Dr. Thomas Hale, a pharmacologist who is the leading expert in the use of medications during lactation. The counselors there will consider the drug you've been prescribed, the dosage, how old your baby is, what his or her nursing pattern is like, and give you information that's specific to your situation.
You can call InfantRisk from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm US Central Time, at (806)-352-2519.
The InfantRisk Center also has information about non-prescription drugs, herbal products, vaccines, chemicals, and other substances.
Medications and Mothers' Milk
Most LLL Leaders
own or have access to Dr. Hale's book Medications and Mothers' Milk
and can use it to give you general info about different medications. I also have access to the Medications and Mothers' Milk online database -- if you PM me (@llli*LLLKaren) with the name of the medication you've been prescribed, I can email you a PDF of its entry in the medsmilk database, which you can review with your health care provider.
Tagged Forum Threads
There are many threads about medications on the forums, and you may find useful information in some of them, though -- again -- we cannot guarantee that the information is completely accurate, and it should not replace the advice of a qualified medical professional.
Here are some tags for topics that commonly appear on the forums. Click on one it will bring up all the threads that have that tag. There will be overlap -- for example, threads tagged "antibiotics" are likely to also be tagged "medications". Only a small fraction of the threads on the forums have tags right now. Feel free to help with tagging new threads!