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Thread: Medications and Breastfeeding

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    Default Medications and Breastfeeding

    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.

    InfantRisk Center

    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.

    Online Resources


    LactMed is a free, searchable database of medications maintained by the US National Library of Medicine. From their website: "It includes information such as maternal levels in breast milk, infant levels in blood, potential effects in breastfeeding infants and on lactation itself, the American Academy of Pediatrics category indicating the level of compatibility of the drug with breastfeeding, and alternate drugs to consider."

    American Academy of Pediatrics

    The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on the Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals into Human Milk includes a list of medications usually considered compatible with breastfeeding, but it should be noted that the AAP retired this policy statement in August 2010, so some information may be outdated.

    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!

    Last edited by @llli*LLLKaren; March 12th, 2013 at 06:55 AM.

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