Is It Safe To Take Medicines While Breastfeeding?

Breast feeding is a particularly important journey undertaken by new mothers to nurse their child to health. Apart from this, it has multiple other benefits – reduces the risk of pregnancy, allows women to regulate their hormones, the healthiest way for a woman to gain back her original weight post-partum and last but not the least, it increases the bong between the mother and the child.

It is best to maintain an optimum level of heal9th while at it. Smoking, drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco and drug abuse is strictly prohibited during lactation period, as it may majorly affect the child’s development.

Similarly, it is important that the mother eats healthy and nutritious food as well.

It is best to avoid the usage of any kind of medicine during breast-feeding. However, some medicines are strictly prohibited, while others can be used under the proper guidance of a physician.

Drugs which are not suitable during breastfeeding are:

  • Chemotherapy drugs for cancer.
  • Drugs for heart condition such as arrythmias.
  • Use of lithium in mental health disorders like bipolar disorder.
  • Injectable medicines used during MRI scans.
  • Some medicines which are used to treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

Following is a list of medication which when taken after a legal prescription, are considered considerably safer during breastfeeding.

Pain relievers

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Naproxen (Naprosyn) — short-term use only

Antimicrobial medications

  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Miconazole (Monistat 3) — apply minimal amount.
  • Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin) — apply minimal amount.
  • Penicillin, such as amoxicillin and ampicillin.
  • Cephalosporins, such as cephalexin (Keflex).


  • Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert, others)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy)


  • Medications containing pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Zyrtec D, others) — use with caution because pseudoephedrine can decrease milk supply.

Gastrointestinal medications

  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet HB)


  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Treating regular cold, cough, flu and fever at home is the best. But pills are generally safe for the child, provided they are prescribed by a physician.

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