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Breastfeeding and medications: what's safe and what's not?

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Keep in mind that this isn't a comprehensive list of safe medications.

Pain relievers

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others) — short-term use only

Antimicrobial medications

Fluconazole (Diflucan)
Miconazole (Monistat 3, Micaderm, others)
Clotrimazole (Mycelex, Lotrimin, others)
Penicillins (amoxicillin, ampicillin, others)
Cephalosporins (Keflex, Duricef, others)


Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert, others)
Fexofenadine (Allegra)


Saline nasal drops
Medications containing pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Zyrtec D, others) — use with caution because pseudoephedrine can decrease milk supply

Birth control pills

Progestin-only contraceptives, such as the minipill
New research suggests that combination birth control pills, oral contraceptives that contain estrogen and a progestin, don't affect milk production. Still, consider waiting until breast-feeding is firmly established — about six to eight weeks — before using this type of birth control pill.

Gastrointestinal medications

Famotidine (Pepcid)
Omeprazole (Prilosec)
Cimetidine (Tagamet)

Paroxetine (Paxil)
Sertraline (Zoloft)
Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

Constipation medications

Docusate sodium (Colace)

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