Drugs - breastfeeding

Ostetrico Accursio Marchese
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Use of drugs or other substances

The assumption of a drug in lactation must take into account the risk/benefit and must be prescribed by the doctor; particular attention should be paid when infants are less than 2 months old, as their metabolism is immature.

Drugs, such as antiblastics or some hormones, represent an absolute contraindication to breastfeeding.
Other drugs or substances contraindicated during breastfeeding are:

  • amiodarone;
  • indomethacin;
  • ergotamine;
  • lithium;
  • anti-epileptics;
  • heroin;
  • morphine;
  • cocaine;
  • amphetamines;
  • anorectic drugs;
  • bromocriptine;
  • methimazole;
  • diphenhydramine;
  • cyproheptamine.

Most of the drugs that pass into the breast milk, gradually decrease their concentration in the milk with the time elapsed since the assumption, some drugs have however a long half-life.
Advice: take the drug (if possible) immediately after the end of feeding to have the lowest concentration possible in breast milk.

  • Contraindications to breastfeeding for maternal illnesses:

  • Current Hepatitis B;

  • HIV infection (AIDS) (the virus can be transmitted through breast milk, so in case of positivity, breastfeeding is not recommended);

  • state of severe debilitation of any origin ;

  • puerperal psychosis (a rare condition not to be confused with postpartum depression);

  • consumption of more than 30 cigarettes per day;

  • alcoholism;

  • current drug addiction;

  • herpes simplex at the nipple bilaterally;

  • breast cancer (if the mother has cancer, the therapy she is undergoing will make breastfeeding impossible; if she has had a mastectomy, as well as a lumpectomy, she can breastfeed effectively using the other breast);

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