The Japan Drug Information Institute in Pregnancy
Breastfeeding and Medication
It is known that breast milk has many benefits, and many mothers wish to raise their children with breast milk because of its benefits. However, mothers who are taking medication may have some concerns about their effects those medicines on their babies.
There are many types of medications in the world, and most of them do pass through the mother to the baby during breastfeeding. However, it is known that only very small amounts of medication pass through to the baby during breastfeeding.
Therefore, mothers taking medication do not have to give up breastfeeding or give up taking their medication, but it is important to consult with your physician about which medication you are taking, and make a decision based on the specific guidelines and information for each medication.
As an information guide for Breastfeeding and Medication, we prepared two tables: “Medication Considered Safe for Use” and “Medication Considered Unsuitable for Use during Breastfeeding.” Please note the list of precautions below before using the tables.
- This is a table for the effects of medication during breastfeeding (It is not a table for the effects of medication during pregnancy).
- The list of medications in the table, “Medication Considered Safe for Use,” are medications that have been evaluated based on accumulated scientific knowledge of these drugs and are currently believed to be safe to use during the nursing period.
- The list of medications in the table “Medication Unsuitable for Use during Breastfeeding” are medications that have been evaluated based on considering both the illness and the effects of the medication, and was concluded that the medication was clearly unsuitable for use during breastfeeding.
- Medications that are not listed on these tables do not mean they are unfit for use or are considered safe for use during breastfeeding.
- Anticancer/antineoplastic drugs are not listed in the table due to the nature of the illness and the possibility that it may cause misinterpretations, as information on these drugs are limited and a brief summary of their evaluation is difficult,. Immunosuppressive drugs are not on the list for the same reasons.
- It is essential to consult with your physician about your medication. Don’t decide to continue or discontinue the use of medication by yourself.
Medical advancements are being made daily. Future studies may change information regarding breastfeeding and medication. We will continually revise our tables based on the most current research information.
If you do not know the specific active ingredient in your medication, check the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency’s homepage.