Medications in lactation

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When prescribing for breastfeeding mothers :

  • Avoid unnecessary drug use including over-the-counter (OTC) products
  • Assess the individual benefit/risk ratio for both mother and infant
  • Neonate risk from exposure to drugs via breast milk is because of:
    1. Immature excretory functions
    2. Consequent risk of drug accumulation
    3. Prematurity increases these risks
    4. Drugs safe in infants will tend to be safe in neonates
  • Avoid new drugs if a therapeutically equivalent alternative with wider experience in childhood etc is available.

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