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
Claritin (but not Claritin D)
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Imodium, Imodium A-D
Kaopectate II Caplets
Pepto Diarrhea Control
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.