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Breastfeeding: Using Medicines Safely

Table of Contents


Talk to your doctor before you take any prescription or over-the-counter medicines while breastfeeding. That's because some medicines can affect your breast milk.

Many medicines are safe to use when you breastfeed. These include:

Experts recommend that you do not take codeine or tramadol while breastfeeding. They can harm your baby. Read the label on pain medicines and cough and cold medicines, because they may contain codeine or tramadol.

Consider the following before you take medicines while breastfeeding:

If you must take a medicine that isn't safe for your baby, you will need to stop breastfeeding while you take it. You can feed your baby stored breast milk, donated breast milk, or formula. But keep up your milk supply by pumping and throwing away the milk. When the medicine has left your system, you can go back to breastfeeding your baby.

Medicines for low milk supply

Talk to your doctor before taking any medicines or herbal remedies to increase your milk supply. The effect of some medicines and herbal remedies on milk supply haven't been well studied. They may have side effects.

If you don't think your baby is getting enough milk, try breastfeeding more often. If this doesn't help, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. If you have a problem with your milk supply, they can help you solve it.

Credits for Breastfeeding: Using Medicines Safely

Current as of: November 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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