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Thread: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    357

    Default Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    Hi, I just came across this and thought it was interesting. I took codine after all three of my babies and never gave it a second thought!

    WASHINGTON - Nursing mothers who take codeine should watch their infants for increased sleepiness or other signs of overdose, federal health officials warned Friday.

    The Food and Drug Administration warning of the rare but serious side effect was prompted by a 2006 report of the death of a nursing infant whose mother was given codeine for episiotomy pain.

    Genetic testing later showed the woman's body converted the codeine to morphine more rapidly and completely than in other people. That led to higher-than-expected morphine levels in her breast milk.

    While the rapid conversion of codeine to morphine is a very rare side effect in some mothers, it can result in high and unsafe levels of the latter drug in the blood and breast milk, the FDA said in an alert.

    Codeine is among the most common drugs taken by new mothers, FDA officials said.

    It is included in several prescription pain drugs and in some over-the-counter cough syrups, Dr. Sandra Kweder, the FDA's deputy director, Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a telephone briefing.

    The risk of having the genetic mutation ranges from about 1 percent in Hispanics, Chinese and Japanese, to 3 percent in African-Americans, 1 percent to 10 percent in Caucasians, and as high as 16 percent to 28 percent in North Africans, Ethiopians and Saudis, Kweder said.

    Given the risk, doctors should prescribe nursing mothers the smallest dose of codeine for the shortest period of time, the FDA recommended. Doctors also should closely monitor both mother and child.

    In children, signs of morphine overdose, beyond increased sleepiness, include difficulty breast-feeding or breathing and limpness. Nursing mothers may also experience overdose symptoms, such as extreme sleepiness, confusion, shallow breathing or severe constipation, the FDA said.

    The FDA has asked drug companies that make those products to include information about the potential risks to nursing mothers who are ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine.

    There is a test available to determine if an individual is a rapid metabolizer of codeine, but Kewder said the agency is not currently recommending routine testing.

    "Our point is to pay attention," she said.

    New mothers taking codeine who find themselves extremely sleepy should consult their doctor, and if their baby seems unusually sleepy or has trouble nursing they should contact their physician or take the baby to an emergency room, she said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    32

    Default Re: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    I just read this too. I think its a good thing to be informed about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    32

    Default Re: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    Okay, so I sent this article to a friend of mine who has double mastitis and was put on vicodein, just because I thought she might find it interesting and might want to be aware of the new findings. I know Vicodein and Codeine are not the same thing, but they are from the same family and since she routinely doesn't use western medicine (she prefers homeopathy and natureopathy) and I know she chooses not to vaccinate her one year old, I wondered if she may just want to be aware of the similarity so she chould make her own informed decision. She got very upset with me and assumed that I was telling her not to take the meds, which was in her opinion my passive agressive way of telling her she probably needed to wean.

    I would never tell anyone what to do with their babies, much less tell them they NEED TO take or not take medicine much less wean their babies! I'm still nursing my 2.5 year old! But the part that hurts the most is that she said she "sincerely hoped" if a mother called me regarding a LLL mastitis issue, I wouldn't send them "scary" articles or imply that they do the same. I assured her that was not my intention and that since neither of us were LLL leaders, neither of us was in a position to give advice. I assured her that I was merely passing along the info to her because I was her friend, and I thought regarding the circumstances she was in, she may find it interesting.

    She also said she had talked to 2 lactation consultants and checked kellymom and hale's book and she trusted them more than the FDA. I told her I would've done the same thing and that I wasn't attacking her decision, but I also wanted her to be aware since this article came out recently, and after Hales book. Again, I stress, I would've done the same thing, but I don't feel that I should be attacked as an applicant or called irresponsible or made to feel like I would intentionally tell a mother what to do or not do. I feel like there are high levels of misunderstanding going on between us.

    However, this is the 2nd time she's brought up my values in reference to my application to be a leader. The first time she posted on another board regarding a conversation about circumcision. She was so hurt by the fact that we had circ. our first son that she said she wasn't sure she could be friends or "work" together with me towards our application completion. I wasn't aware of this post until recenly, and I'm feeling really slandered on a professional level. I don't think she has a right to talk about 1. my religious beleifs and 2. my LLL activities without my permission. does this make sense. Part of me wants to bring attention to our leader, but another part of me is just wanting to let it go. do you have any advice?
    x-posted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    357

    Default Re: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    Hi, Sorry you are going through that with your friend. I would say you definally had the best intentions and she definally took it the wrong way. I thought the article was interesting because it said things about nursing etc..I wish I had known those things before I had my three. I dont think I would of took as much codeine for pain . I am always open to learning things and it seems like your friend just took it the wrong way. You meant well and if she cant see that then its too bad. If codeine can possibly cause some problems in new moms/nursing then shouldnt we all know this! If your friend ever comes across a new mom having problems nursing and she is on codeine maybe its worth knowing this info! Did she think of that. I hope things get better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,721

    Default Re: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    DH found this news article and showed it to me. I was given Tylonel 3s at the hospital as well as a prescription for it when I left the hospital. They gave it to me after birth and was used for the pain after getting my tubes tied too. After LO was a couple weeks old I was using what was left of it for some pain from some teeth that were extracted. I'm glad we didn't have any issues with it but I refuse to take what's left of it now that I've read this.

    ~*Allee*~

    Damon 8/5/99 Heaven 7/24/01 Jasmine 7/20/07

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    344

    Default Re: Interesting Article FDA: Codeine risk for some nursing moms

    Wow, thanks for posting. I am on hydrocodone for the constant coughing with this penumonia I have.

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