(HealthDay)—Most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding, according to updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online Aug. 26 in Pediatrics.
The previous guidelines by the AAP on the transfer of drugs and chemicals into human milk were published in 2001, notes Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues. With the exception of radioactive compounds, which require temporarily ceasing breastfeeding, the most current and comprehensive information is available on LactMed.
Pain medications, psychoactive drugs, herbal products, and drugs to treat substance/alcohol abuse or smoking are of most concern during breastfeeding, according to the authors. Regarding vaccination, maternal vaccination does not interfere with breastfeeding, and breastfeeding does not interfere with the infant response to most routine immunizations.
"Many mothers are inappropriately advised to discontinue breastfeeding or avoid taking essential medications because of fears of adverse effects on their infants," Sachs and colleagues write. "This cautious approach may be unnecessary in many cases, because only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers or associated with adverse effects on their infants."