H.F. asks from Brookfield, IL on July 02, 2008
Breastfeeding - Anyone Had to Take Prescription Medicine?
Hi area moms-
I was just diagnosed with strep throat and my Dr gave me a prescription (zithromax) and I can't breastfeed for 10 days... I have to pump/dump and use up my supply in the freezer. My daughter is almost 7 months old and is exclusively breastfed (except for cereal). Has anyone else had to take prescription medicine while breastfeeding? I don't know what to do b/c I'm worried if I don't feed her for 10 days that my supply will go down and she won't want to feed anymore... but I also need to get better. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.
So What Happened?™
Thank you sooo much for all of the wonderful advice. I did start taking the medicine but I've talked to my daughter's pediatrician and some lactation consultants and they said I should be fine to breastfeed with the medicine. I haven't in a few days b/c I am lucky enough to have a big supply of milk in my freezer (and a wonderful husband who has stepped in as mom and dad this week to feed her,etc)...I'm going to start to nurse her again 1-2 times a day so we'll be back in the swing of things when I'm off the antibiotic. I've been pumping every 2-3 hours while I haven't been feeding to keep up my supply. Thanks again!!! I still can't believe how many responses I received. Mamasource is a such a great site :)
P.D. answers from Chicago on July 02, 2008
Zithromax should not be a problem...
P., RLC, IBCLC
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions
N.O. answers from Chicago on July 02, 2008
I've had the misfortune of having to take several meds while pg and nursing (surgeries and kidney stones - ouch!). Most were pain meds not antibiotics...I do know enough to suggest you 1) make sure you can't take what was perscirbed via your doc and/or the site listed in the other post 2) If you can't BF on that med, see if an alternative is available. 3) If you really can't BF for 10 days continue to pump pump pump. My son was only 6 mo when I had a big surgery. I was unable to even pump for 3 days b/c I was so out of it at the hospital and was completely stressed b/c he was only BF'd. When I returned home I was able to re-start my milk supply with a lot of extra pumping and BF'd him exclusively from that point until he weaned.
Try not to stress - much easier said than done, I know! Good luck!
E.P. answers from Chicago on July 02, 2008
I'm curious what medication? I remember being sick and having to be on antibiotics and other med's while breast feeding. I have asthma & allergies so I am on a few meds. There are so many medications that dr's really don't know if they affect breast milk, while other antibiotics are relatively safe. My local Pharmacist is my best friend in moments like this. They can give you great guidance in this area and, if they determine that breast feeding is a concern, they can recommend an alternative and/or give you guidance when the best time to take your medications, during the day, should they deem the med. fairly safe. I really hope you get better soon.
J.S. answers from Chicago on July 03, 2008
I also used zithromax while breastfeeding when my daughter was 10 mos old. It is fine to use while breastfeeding. I don't know why your doc told you to pump and dump. Check with a lactation consultant or see what info you can find out about the prescription online. My dr is very pro-breastfeeding (she acts as a lactation consultant for the entire practice) so I very much trust her about taking a med while breastfeeding. There is no reason the doc can't prescribe something that is ok to use while breastfeeding. You shouldn't have to pump and dump even if you choose to ask for another prescription.
G.D. answers from Chicago on July 03, 2008
Are you allergic to amoxicillin (penicillin derivative) because that also works for strept throat and you wouldn't have to pump and dump. My daughter is 10 months old and still breastfeeding. I just had a combination sinus infection/ear infection and took Omnicef for 10 days. I didn't have to stop breastfeeding because that is what they give my daughter when she has an ear infection. Check with your OB/GYN as to what antibiotics he/she deems safe for you to take. Pumping and dumping is such a pain to do. I hope you feel better soon!
R.A. answers from Chicago on July 03, 2008
If you pump an ddump for 10 days there is a chance that your supply will decrease, but if your daughter goes back to nursing afterwards, chances are that she will be able to rebuild your supply. However, there are other concerns besides just your supply. You turning your daughter down for nursing is one of those concerns, as your daughter may refuse to take a bottle from you, and if not, she may refuse to take the breast again once your prescription is done. Another concern would be that you have enough frozen milk to last for 10 days, since she will probably want more milk from the bottle than she generally nurses, both because the bottle is easier to drink from and because she will be stressed that you are refusing to nurse her.
I would strongly recommend that you contact your local La Leche League and ask them about the safety of zithromax during breastfeeding, or if there is an alternative you could take. Here is the site with Chicago LLL leader info: http://www.lllusa.org/IL/WebChicagoIL.html and this is a link to an LLL page about breastfeeding while on medication: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/medications.html
hope you're feeling better soon!!
D.B. answers from Decatur on July 03, 2008
I would call your local La Leche League leader and see if she can look up if you can take that med while bfing. If not see if there is an alternative. That is crazy for them to tell you you just have to pump and dump for 10 days. I would do some digging I'm sure there is an alternative med that would not interupt your breastfeeding!!
L.P. answers from Chicago on July 03, 2008
You may check with your doctor or pharmacist and have them check the literature on zithromax to see if the drug is CONTRAINDICATED while breastfeeding.
Did the doctor know you were breastfeeding?
Regardless, the drug company has this knowledge in their product description---check with your pharmacist-
Take care, hope you get better-
J.K. answers from Chicago on July 03, 2008
H. - I don't have much new to add, but I had strep throat and pneumonia in May and the doctor prescribed azithromycin (aka z-pack - a five day series). I think that's the generic name (not the brand name). It's safe for breastfeeding. You might get your OB's or pediatricians input, or I think La Leche League has a call in number for questions. There are several safe anti-biotic options for B/F moms.