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Thread: How long is Azithromycin detectable in breast milk?

  1. #1

    Default How long is Azithromycin detectable in breast milk?

    Hello. I am 40+2 days pregnant with our second child. I breastfed our first for almost 2 years and hope to do the same with this little peanut. Three days ago, I was put on a Z-Pak following possible exposure to pertussis. It was a difficult decision to go on the antibiotics, but ultimately, I thought the benefit outweighed the risk. I will be taking my fourth pill of five today (dosages were 500 mg on day one, 250 mg on day 2-5). I am very worried about the effects on the newborn, as I will likely go into labor in the next week and, if not, will be being induced next Monday (one week). I want to avoid any issues with thrush or gut imbalances. I am taking probiotics along side the Z-Pak. Does anyone have any experience in taking this antibiotic this late in pregnancy or during the first days of breastfeeding? Does anyone know how long the antibiotic stays in breast milk? My doctor assures me it is safe to breast feed on, but I would really like to avoid the baby getting as much of the antibiotic as possible. I am particularly concerned, since I know azithromycin has a very long half life. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: How long is Azithromycin detectable in breast milk?

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the baby to come!

    For questions about medications and medication safety, I would contact the Infant Risk center: http://www.infantrisk.com. They should be able to answer your questions about safety and persistance of the antibiotic. I'm pretty sure they will give you the same answer as your doctor did.

    I think it's great that you're taking the probiotics. I really would not worry much about gut imbalances or thrush. Taking an antibiotic only raises your chances of those problems. It's not a guarantee, right? Most people who take antibiotics have no problems. And while I understand your desire to protect your baby from the antibiotics, remember that your milk is way more than just nutrition. It also contains a ton of immunological support factors, including prebiotics that help foster the growth of a healthy gut microbiota. This is an interesting article about what breastmilk has to offer: https://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8639cover.html

    Personally, if I were choosing between breastmilk carrying some antibiotic residues or antibiotic-free formula, I would choose breastmilk almost every time. At least if the antibiotic involved were azithromycin, which I took twice while nursing, and never had any negative outcomes from it for either me or my kids.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: How long is Azithromycin detectable in breast milk?

    Probably up to 48 hours. Your doctor will not give you meds that he thinks will cause harm to your baby so I wouldn't worry. But that's good that you're being cautious and doing some research before taking more of it.

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