Great News: It's Safe to Pop Most Pills While Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding moms can “sparkle, Neely, sparkle” according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says most prescription drugs do not pose a threat to infants’ health.

Most drugs don’t get into breast milk at “clinically meaningful levels,” so mothers have needlessly been forced to choose between their medication and breastfeeding, which potentially robs both mother and child of health benefits. The report, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first statement that the AAP has made on the subject in 12 years.

Narcotics like codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone are “discouraged,” and some antidepressants, antipsychotics and drugs to treat substance abuse are “worrisome,” while others are acceptable. For instance, Prozac and Wellbutrin are more present in breast milk than Paxil, which is preferable. If anything, the AAP finds herbal supplements to be the most dangerous to take while pregnant, because of the lack of data regarding safety and effectiveness.

The report said that the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on drugs and breastfeeding is compiled in a National Institutes of Health database called LactMed, which also has an app for phones and tablets. It enables you to look up various drugs to make an informed decision about breastfeeding.

For example, the results for a search on Adderall suggests that it could possibly affect a mother’s ability to produce milk, but that no harmful effects have been found in regards to an infant’s development.

In dosages prescribed for medical indications, some evidence indicates that dextroamphetamine might not affect nursing infants adversely. The effect of dextroamphetamine in milk on the neurological development of the infant has not been well studied.
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.

Image via Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Many Drugs Found Safe for Breast-Feeding Mothers [WSJ]

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