When you are nursing, every drug you take, your baby takes as well – so you need to be very careful what drugs you take. That doesn’t mean you can’t take anything. Here are a few tips when picking a drug at a drug store – Over The Counter (OTC) drugs:
- Only take a medicine if you REALLY need it.
- Take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.
- Avoid extra-strength and “sustained-release” formulas.
- When possible, use one ingredient medicines rather than multi-symptom formulas. For example, if you only have a cough, use a plain cough suppressant rather than a cough suppressant with a decongestant.
- Watch for signs of a possible drug reaction in your baby such as sleepiness, rashes, diarrhea, or colic. Call your provider if you see such changes.
Always read the label or package insert; it will say if a drug is unsafe for a nursing mother. If you are unsure, ask the pharmacist or call your provider.
These OTC medications are considered safe to take in standard doses when you’re breastfeeding
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Claritin (but not Claritin D)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Imodium, Imodium A-D
- Kaopectate II Caplets
- Maalox Antidiarrheal
- Pepto Diarrhea Control
- Triaminic Expectorant
- Vicks 44
This is not a complete list. Always read the label or package insert; it will say if a drug is unsafe for a nursing mother. If you are unsure, ask the pharmacist or call your doctor.