Breastfeeding Medications Guidelines
This list does NOT include all medications that are safe during breastfeeding. Always check with your doctor to see if medications are appropriate for you or your baby.
Always check with your doctor before taking any medications. If you need information on a specific drug, you can call the WIC clinic or the Breastfeeding Hotline.
CAN I TAKE MEDICATIONS AND BREASTFEED?
*Yes, with some exceptions.
*Work with your doctor to find a medication that treats your condition and is safe while breastfeeding.
THE DRUGS LISTED BELOW ARE USUALLY COMPATIBLE WITH BREASTFEEDING.
PAIN RELIEVERS/FEVER REDUCERS
These are better choices than aspirin when breastfeeding, due to some extremely rare complications.
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GENERALLY OK TO TAKE
- Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
- Advil, Motrin IB (Ibuprofen)
- Aleve (Naproxen Sodium)
COLD AND ALLERGY
*Check for the word "decongestant" or the ingredient pseudoephedrine. Many will have "D" in the name like Claritin-D. These are safe for baby, but can lower your milk supply.
GENERALLY OK TO TAKE
- Benedryl (Diphenhydramine HCI)
- Tylenol Cold, Advil Cold and Sinus, TheraFlu, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold, Dristan (may de Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Cholorpheniramine, Pseudoephdrine*, Dextromethorphan)
- Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)*
- Claritin, Alavert (Loratadine)
- Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCI)
- Robtussin, Mucinex (Guaifenesin)
- Vicks 44
- Ocean (Saline)
- Nasalcrom (Cromolyn sodium)
- Afrin, Neo-Synephrine (Oxymetazoline HCI)
- Pepto-Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)
- Imodium (Loperamide)
- Tums (Calcium Carbonate)
- Maalox (Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, Simethicone)
- Milk of Magnesia (Magnesium Hydroxide)
- Gas-X (Simethicone)
- Metamucil (Psyllium Husk)
- Benefiber, FiberSure
- Ex-Lax (Bisacodyl)
- All OTC Nicotine quit aids: Nicotine patches, gum, lozenge, inhaler (Nicoette, Nicotrol, NicoDerm, Commit, Habitrol)
Illegal drugs are NEVER safe while breastfeeding. These include:
- Alcohol passes into breastmilk in small quantities. To minimize the amount of alcohol your baby receives, feed baby before you drink and wait several hours after drinking to breastfeed.
- "Pumping and dumping" does not lower the amount of alcohol in your milk. Over time, your blood alcohol levels drop and your milk contains less alcohol.
- Daily drinking and binge drinking are not safe while breastfeeding.
For more information, go to the Arizona Department of Health Services