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12 Medicines You Should Never Take During Breastfeeding

4 min read

Sometimes it is necessary for the mother to take medicines during breastfeeding because of a medical condition. There is a wide range of medicines that are  safe or likely to be safe during breastfeeding. But still some medicines are unsafe  to take during breastfeeding. Many medicines can transfer to the breast milk and may pose a risk to the infant. However, this depends on a number of factors. Dose, effects of drugs on the baby and the way you consume a particular medicine determines the risk. We will look at some of the medicines that are considered to be dangerous to take when you are breastfeeding. Find out 12 Medicines You Should Never Take During Breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding and drugs


Drugs That Are Unsafe While You Are Nursing
Safe Drugs During Breastfeeding


12 Medicines You Should Never Take During Breastfeeding

1. Amantadine (Symmetrel):

It is useful in treating the Parkinson’s disease or the flu. Amantadine is not safe to take during breastfeeding. It poses potential risk to the fetus. Amantadine may also reduce the milk supply

2. Amiodarone (Cordarone):

Aminidarine can effectively treat heart related problems. This drug is unsafe to use while breastfeeding. Animal studies with this medicine proves it has toxic effects on the embryo. If you are taking Amiodarone, stop nursing immediately.

3. Antineoplastic Agents:

Antineoplastics or anticancer drugs are highly effective in treating cancer. However, it is  not safe to use when breastfeeding. There is a risk of Neutropenia in infants when these are used while nursing. Women taking these drugs should stop breastfeeding.

4. Aspirin During breastfeeding:

It is effective in treating arthritis. Use of this drug is not recommended in nursing mothers. It increases the risk of Reye’s Syndrome in the baby. An alternate drug can be used in the nursing women rather than high doses of aspirin

5. Chloramphenicol:

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic very effective in treating many serious bacterial infections like meningitis, plague, typhoid, cholera. Vomiting, excessive gas, and sleepiness may occur in the babies if their mother take oral chloramphenicol while nursing. You can use some alternative drugs while nursing. Furthermore, some cases, breastfeeding is discontinued temporarily

6. Clozapine(Clozaril):

It is a psychiatric medicine and used to treat schizophrenia. Clozapine works by balancing the neurotransmitters in the brain. It should not be used in nursing mothers. Clozapine pose a risk of excessive drowsiness or severe hematologic effects. The babies whose mothers took clozapine during breastfeeding experienced speech delay, agranulocytosis

7. Dipyrone:

It is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug used for pain and inflammation. Large amounts of the drug are transferred through breast milk. Therefore, it can be found in urine and blood of the breastfed babies. It can cause pharmacological effects in the baby

8. Gold Salts During Breastfeeding:

Gold salts (Myochrysine) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It can get into to the baby’s body through the breast milk. Gold salts can cause serious adverse reactions in the baby. It is advisable to stop nursing or to use alternative medicines.

9. Radioactive Iodine During Breastfeeding:

It is used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine treatment passes to baby through breast milk. As a result, it can expose the baby to radiation. Breast feeding should be discontinued permanently for the current child. Also, you should avoid close contact with the infant after the radioactive iodine treatment

10. Effects Of Lipid Lowering Drugs During Breastfeeding:

Lipid lowering drugs like Lescol, Zocor, Mevacor, Lipitor, Lopid are excellent for lowering the bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood. It can disturb the baby’s lipid metabolism so avoid these drugs while you are nursing

11. Metamizole:

It is anti-pyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory drug. It is a good pain reliever. However, never use this drug during breastfeeding. It can infiltrate into the breast milk and may harm the baby

12. Salicyclates:

They are used to bring down the fever, pain and inflammation in the cases of arthritis. Exposure to this drug may cause Reye’s syndrome in the breastfed infant. Avoid using this drug while breastfeeding  or try to use alternative medicines
It is advisable to avoid all these 12 Medicines You Should Never Take During Breastfeeding.  In case it is unavoidable to use any of these drugs, you can take it after discontinuing breastfeeding temporarily or permanently.
Dangerous drugs for breastfeeding

Safe Medicines During Breastfeeding

The drugs which are generally safe during lactation are:

  • Mild pain relievers like Acetaminophen and Paracetamol
  • Antacids like Maalox, Mylanta used to treat upset stomach
  • Antibiotics used to treat ear, lung, skin, urinary tract, throat infections like Cephalosporins
  • Clotrimazole used to treat fungal infections
  • Progestin-only contraceptive pills like Micronor, Norplant
  • Ibuprofen pain reliever
  • Decongestant nasal sprays

Now you have an idea about 12 Medicines You Should Never Take During Breastfeeding. Though a lot of drugs are safe to use during breastfeeding. It’s better to consult your doctor before taking any OTC medicine. After all, you do not want any harm to be caused to your tiny infant.

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