The Women’s Breastfeeding Recommendations

Safe to use

Medicines which have been taken by a large number of women and has not been shown to cause harmful effects in the breastfed infant, even though small amounts of the medicine may be excreted into the breast milk.

Considered safe to use

Limited information is available to confirm these medicines do not cause harmful effects in the breastfed infant. However, observation of the breastfed infant may be required for any adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness and poor feeding.

Monitoring required

Medicines which require monitoring during breastfeeding as adverse effects are possible, or have been reported in the breastfed infant. Monitoring may include blood tests for liver function, thyroid function or drug levels. Detection of adverse effects in the breastfed infant may also be required. Consultation with a specialist for further advice may be required.

Consider alternative

Medicines which have no human evidence during breastfeeding and the characteristics of the medicine suggest potential serious toxicity in breastfed infants.

Contraindicated

Medicines which should be avoided during breastfeeding, as potential serious adverse effects or toxicity have been reported in breastfed infants, or they may inhibit lactation.

Last Updated: 26 April 2016

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Summarises key findings and provides detailed, practical recommendations on the use of medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding to support the clinical decision making process

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Downloadable medicine fact sheets for patients

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Practical recommendations

The Therapeutic Goods Adminsitration (TGA) pregnancy categories and manufacturer’s product information are sometimes difficult to interpret. The Women’s PBMG has developed a series of practical recommendations for medicines used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.