What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

Many over-the-counter freezing medicine products are considered safe during pregnancy, when baby is directly impacted. So it's generally considered safe for breastfeeding moms to take those medications with, of course, the same precautions.

“Go with the ingredient that you need, not something that has lots of ingredients, and not something that has sustained release," says Ross.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

A sustained release product means your baby will get the medication over a longer period of time. Select medications with only one ingredient for the symptom that's plaguing you most and avoid combination cough and common freezing medicines that own ingredients for cough, sneezing, congestion, headache, and more.

Simple diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and guaifenesin (Robitussin) are fine, says Ross. And you can take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and aspirin while breastfeeding, which were a no-no for pregnant women.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

Those drugs are "not shown to do damage to most newborn babies," Ross says.

Of course, if your baby’s behavior changes — more fussiness, for example — consider that it could own something to do with your medication.

Ross says it's also fine to use something love Vicks VapoRub or a saline mist. Just be careful that the Vicks doesn't get on your breasts. It won't affect your baby unless it gets on the breasts and the baby eats it.

Herbal medications and remedies are not recommended for breastfeeding women, as the FDA does not regulate them and their safety can't be confirmed.


Hay fever remedies

When you seek advice from your pharmacist, GP or health visitor they will take into account factors such as:

  1. how mild or severe your symptoms are – if your symptoms are mild, you may be capable to manage without treatment
  2. how effective the medicine is 
  3. how much of the medicine passes to your baby through your breast milk

If you take hay fever medicine while you’re breastfeeding, you should take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time, unless your healthcare professional gives you other advice.

Try topical treatments first.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

These are medicines that you don’t need to swallow such as nasal sprays and eyedrops.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays assist to unblock your nose and sinuses. They’re unlikely to pass into your breast milk and only in low amounts.

Sodium cromoglicate eyedrops relieve the redness, itchiness and watering of your eyes. It’s unlikely that sodium cromoglicate passes into your breast milk.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

Loratadine or cetirizine are the antihistamine tablets recommended if you’re breastfeeding. They can own diverse brand names, so speak to your pharmacist for advice. These are non-drowsy antihistamines – you should avoid using antihistamines that make you drowsy (sedating) as they can affect your baby if used for more than a short time.

Loratadine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Loratadine: Claritin, Claritin-D, Alavert, Claritin-D 24 Hour, Allergy Relief Tablets, Loratadine-D 24 Hour, Wal-itin, Claritin 24 Hour Allergy, Claritin-D 12 Hour, Alavert D-12 Hour Allergy and Sinus, Show every 31 »Claritin Reditabs, Tavist ND, AllerClear D-24 Hour, Allergy Relief D12, Allergy & Congestion Relief, Leader Allergy Relief D-24, Loratadine-D 12 Hour, Clear-Atadine-D, Loratadine Reditab, Children's Claritin Allergy, Bactimicina Allergy, Clear-Atadine Children's, Dimetapp Children's ND Non-Drowsy Allergy, Claritin Hives Relief, Clear-Atadine, ohm Allergy Relief, Assist I Own Allergies, Vicks QlearQuil Every Day & Every Night 24 Hour Allergy Relief, Children's Allergy Relief 24 Hour, Allergy Relief 24 Hour, Allergy Relief D 24 Hour

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com.

Final updated on Jul 13, 2019.


Loratadine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Because of its lack of sedation and low milk levels, maternal use of loratadine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Loratadine might own a negative effect on lactation, especially in combination with a sympathomimetic agent such as pseudoephedrine.

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends loratadine at its lowest dose as a preferred choice if an antihistamine is required during breastfeeding.[1]

Drug Levels

After a single oral dose of 40 mg of loratadine in 6 women, average peak milk levels of 29.2 (range 20.4 to 39) mcg/L occurred at two hours after the dose. In addition, average desloratadine peak milk levels of 16 (range 9 to 29.6) mcg/L occurred at 5.3 hours after the dose. The entire quantity excreted in milk over 48 hours was 11.7 mcg of loratadine and its metabolite. However, the dose istered was four times greater than the usual dose of the drug, so a entire dose of about 3 mcg would be expected with a 10 mg dose.

The calculated average and maximum expected doses of loratadine plus desloratadine in milk were 0.46 and 1.1% and of the maternal weight-adjusted dose, respectively, after the 40 mg dose.[2]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Desloratadine, Fexofenadine

Effects in Breastfed Infants

A survey of 51 mothers who took loratadine during breastfeeding between 1999 and 2001 was conducted by a teratogen information service. Most of the infants were over 2 months ancient and loratadine was generally taken for one week or less.

Two mothers reported minor sedation in their infants, one at 3 days of age and one at 3 months of age. Both mothers were taking a dose of 10 mg daily.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

Weight acquire and psychomotor development were similar to infants in a control group of breastfed infants unexposed to medications.[3] An extension of the study that compared the results of this study (plus one additional patient) to that of a control group of 88 mothers who took a drug known to be safe while breastfeeding. No differences in sedation or any other side effects (p=0.606) in the baby were found between mothers who took loratadine during breastfeeding and those of the control group.[4]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women.[5][6] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[5] Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines own the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin own any consequences on breastfeeding success own not been studied.

The prolactin level in a mom with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

One mom out of 51 mothers who took loratadine while nursing reported that she had decreased milk production after taking loratadine 10 mg daily for less than one week at 4 months postpartum.[3]

References

1. Powell RJ, Du Toit GL, Siddique N et al. BSACI guidelines for the management of chronic urticaria and angio-oedema.

Clin Exp Allergy. 2007;37:631-50. PMID: 17456211

2. Hilbert J, Radwanski E, Affine MB et al. Excretion of loratadine in human breast milk. J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;28:234-9. PMID: 2966185

3. Messinis IE, Souvatzoglou A, Fais N et al. Histamine H1 receptor participation in the control of prolactin secretion in postpartum. J Endocrinol Invest. 1985;8:143-6. PMID: 3928731

4. Merlob P, Stahl B. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to loratadine treatment (1999-2001). BELTIS Newsl.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

2002;Number 10:43-51.

5. Merlob P. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal loratadine treatment (1999-2002). Unpublished manuscript.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding

6. Pontiroli AE, De Castro e Silva E, Mazzoleni F et al. The effect of histamine and H1 and H2 receptors on prolactin and luteinizing hormone release in humans: sex differences and the role of stress. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1981;52:924-8. PMID: 7228996


istrative Information

LactMed Record Number

163

Disclaimer

Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your specific situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

What allergy medications are safe while breastfeeding


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this sheet applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

What we do know is this: Medications get into breast milk, but probably in smaller doses than what the mom is taking. Basically, says Dr. Ross, the baby will probably get only 10 percent of whatever dose mom takes when breastfeeding — so there might be only one-tenth of the effect of the medication on the baby.


Loratadine Identification

Substance Name

Loratadine

CAS Registry Number

79794-75-5

Drug Class

Breast Feeding

Lactation

Antihistamines

Nonsedating Antihistamines


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