Summary of Use during Lactation:
In dosages prescribed for medical indications, some evidence indicates that amphetamine or dextroamphetamine might not affect nursing infants adversely. The effect of amphetamine in milk on the neurological development of the infant has not been well studied. It is possible that large dosages of amphetamine might interfere with milk production, especially in women whose lactation is not well established. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date on the safety of breastfeeding during amphetamine abuse.
Maternal Levels. A nursing woman was taking racemic amphetamine 5 mg orally 4 times daily at 10 am, noon, 2 pm and 4 pm for narcolepsy. Trough milk levels of 55 and 68 mcg/L were found before the 10 am dose on days 10 and 42 postpartum, respectively. Milk levels were 118 and 138 mcg/L before the 2 pm doses on days 10 and 42, respectively.
Four mothers averaging 5.5 months postpartum (range 3.3 to 10 months)were taking dextroamphetamine in an average dosage of 18 mg daily (range 15 to 45 mg daily in 2 to 4 divided doses) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The median milk level was 219 mcg/L (range 66 to 313 mcg/L) which resulted in an infant dosage of 21 mcg/kg (range 11 to 39 mcg/kg) daily or 5.7% (range 4 to 10.6%) of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage.
Infant Levels. Amphetamine was measured in a 12-hour urine collection in a breastfed infant whose mother was taking racemic amphetamine 5 mg 4 times daily. The infant's urinary excretion of amphetamine ranged from 0.1 to 0.3% of the mother's urinary excretion.
Dextroamphetamine blood levels were measured in 3 breastfed infants. The mothers of these 3 infants were taking an average of 392 mcg/kg daily of dextroamphetamine. Blood levels in 2 infants were 2 and 18 mcg/L, corresponding to 6 and 14% of the maternal plasma level. The plasma level of the third infant was <1 mcg/L. The times of blood collection were not stated.
Effects in Breastfed Infants:
The author of a 1973 newsletter reported a personal communication from the drug manufacturer which stated that of 103 nursing mothers treated with dextroamphetamine (dosage unspecified) for postpartum depression, no infant showed any evidence of stimulation or insomnia.
One infant whose mother was being treated for narcolepsy with racemic amphetamine 5 mg 4 times daily was exposed to the drug in milk for the (unspecified) duration of breastfeeding. There were no signs of abnormal development during the first 2 years of life.
Four mothers averaging 5.5 months postpartum (range 3.3 to 10 months) were taking dextroamphetamine in an average dosage of 18 mg daily (range 15 to 45 mg daily in 2 to 4 divided doses) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Their infants had been breastfed (extent not stated) since birth. The infants all had weights between the 10th and 75th percentiles for their age, normal progress, and no adverse effects according to their pediatricians. Denver developmental ages for 2 of the infants were 100% and 117% of normal.
Possible Effects on Lactation:
In 2 papers by the same authors, 20 women with normal physiologic hyperprolactinemia were studied on days 2 or 3 postpartum. Eight received dextroamphetamine 7.5 mg intravenously, 6 received 15 mg intravenously and 6 who served as controls received intravenous saline. The 7.5 mg dose reduced serum prolactin by 25 to 32% compared to control, but the difference was not statistically significant. The 15 mg dose significantly decreased serum prolactin by 30 to 37% at times after the infusion. No assessment of milk production was presented. The authors also quoted data from another study showing that a 20 mg oral dose of dextroamphetamine produced a sustained suppression of serum prolactin by 40% in postpartum women. The maternal prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.
In a retrospective Australian study, mothers who used intravenous amphetamines during pregnancy were less likely to be breastfeeding their newborn infants at discharge than mothers who abused other drugs (27% vs 42%). The cause of this difference was not determined.
Not listed as a therapeutic agent. It is listed as a drug that should not be used as a drug of abuse by nursing mothers.
Alternate Drugs to Consider: