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Breastfeeding and Medications
Many medications can affect the production of breastmilk or reach concentrations that are unhealthy for your baby. The following list contains the most common everyday medications or drugs that the nursing mother may question. All of these are considered SAFE in usual doses. THIS LIST IS far from complete and your health provider should always be consulted when questions arise.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antacids (Tums, Rolaids)
  • Caffeine (coffee, cola and tea) in moderation
  • Cephalosporins, Penicillins, Erythromycins, Vancomycin
  • Insulin or Tolbutamide
  • Clotrimazole, Miconazole
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • Laxatives including Psyllium and Docusate (Dulcolax)
  • Loperamide (Immodium)
  • Vaccines (all)
  • Over the counter cold medicines and decongestants

The following medications are considered unsafe for breastfeeding women to use. They either negatively impact milk production or are dangerous for the baby.

  • Bromocriptine or Parlodel
  • Radioactive Isotopes (often used for diagnostic studies of the lung, thyroid or bone and include names like Gallium, Technetium) Temporary cessation only is needed and breastfeeding can usually be continued within a week depending on the Isotope used. Nursing mothers should continue to pump their milk during this period. Store or freeze milk prior to procedure for feeding during the cessation period. Often breastfeeding can be resumed after a defined period of time for clearance of the isotope
  • Chemotherapy (drugs that kill cancer cells such as Methotrexate, Cisplatinum)
  • Street Drugs including Cocaine, Amphetamines, Heroin and LSD.
  • Lithium
  • Ergots (used to treat migraine headaches


The people at Breastfeeding101 are not medical professionals. We are moms here to show support. Please consult your physician or LC for any medical questions you might have.