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Healthier You > Breastfeeding

Medications and breastfeeding

Most prescription and over-the-counter medications are safe for the breastfeeding mother. There is often inconsistent advice provided to mothers about the safety of continuing to breastfeed when taking medications. Only around 1% of maternal medication is usually present in breast milk.

The National Prescribing Service website and  medicines line 1300 633 424 (local call charge), provides information about medications.

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) is a peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider.

Prescription medications and breastfeeding

Over-the-counter medications and breastfeeding

Complementary and alternative medicines and breastfeeding

Illegal drugs and breastfeeding

The document National Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Drug Use During Pregnancy, Birth and the Early Development Years of the Newborn is a  nationally agreed clinical guideline intended to support health care workers who care for women with drug and alcohol use issues.

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Last Updated: 04 October 2013
Last Reviewed: 24 January 2011