25 answers

Zyrtec & Breastfeeding

Hi. I'm a mom-to-be, and want to breastfeed when my baby is born. The problem is, I have chronic allergies, and have to take Zyrtec every day. It's the only thing that works for me. I've I don't take it, I get hives and my skin swells- it's not your typical runny eyes, sneazy type of allergies. Nurses, midwives and doctors have told me that Zyrtec will dry-up breast milk. I've asked them if there's an alternative. I really want to breastfeed, and want my baby to have all the benefits of being breastfed. I hope someone out there can help me. Any suggestions?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You will want to read about NAET treatment for allergies. I had one of the highest numbers ever seen(seriously) ever.(Did Mayo,etc.) and this is changing my life. I go to a practitioner named Karen Marshall in FIshers. Her number is
Good Luck!

My OB prescribed Zyrtec for me while I was breastfeeding and I didn't experience any problems, but it was on a "as needed" basis for the sneezy, itchy eye type of allergies.

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Hi J.! I am a pharmacist and Zyrtec is fine to take when breastfeeding. A great place to check for medications and breastfeeding is www.kellymom.com. Zyrtec is considered compatible with breastfeeding and is taken by many nursing moms. Enjoy your breastfeeding experience...there is nothing like it in the whole world!
Peace, N.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried Claritin? I'm not sure if it has the same effect or not. It's worth asking about

I took Zyrtec & breastfed for 3 wonderful years. (not Zyrtec D, that's not approved, just Zyrtec)
Also Actifed is ok (not Sudafed)
I asked COUNTLESS Dr.'s, Pharmacists, Drug reps., you name it & they all assured me it was safe.
I hope everything works out well for you, allergies can just be awful! & congrats on your first baby!!! :o)

There's a supplement called OPC-3 that helps with allergies. My husband has gotten great relief from it this year. It contains the 5 most potent anti-oxidants, and is all natural so is completely safe for your baby too! I could get you in contact with an OB/GYN that recommends it to her patients if you had questions about it. Wouldn't it be great if you never had to take another Zyrtec again!

You can find it on my website.


Good luck!

I have 2 children. I also have chronic allergies and was not able to take my normal medicine, Allerx, during my pregnancies or nursing because it was too new and there was not enough information on that it would be safe to take and not harm the baby. Zyrtec was what my OB told me would be safe. Therefore, that's what I took. I nursed both of my children until nearly a year. I work outside the home so I had to pump during the day and I froze the milk. With my first one, I was able to stop pumping by around 10 months because I had so much frozen milk saved that it didn't get used up until a month after his first birthday. My second one, I dried up a little earlier, but it was still near 10 months or after, at which point my pediatrician had us go to whole milk, which she took just fine. In my experience, Zyrtec definitely did not hinder milk production.

One secret to my success... after my kids were done with a feeding, I would hand pump in order to empty that breast. That built up how much I produced as well as the store of what they could eat/drink while I could not be with them.

Hope this helps!

I'm not on Zyrtec, but I do take Claritin and occasionally Sutafed and I have not had a problem. I've been exclusively breastfeeding for almost 4 months now. I've only used a couple of ouces of formula in times of "crisis". One thing that will definitely affect your milk production is stress! I almost dried up when I was graduating due to all the work I had to put in to graduate on time after my daughter was born. I know Benadryl is also save for breastfeeding, but makes me quite sleepy. On that note you should be resting after the baby's born anyways, so it may be helpful. Good luck! and Congrats on your new peanut!!!

My third child was born when allegies are the worst for me. I actully found for some reason, I didn'tneed my allergy med right after he was born. Maybe the same will work for you. I do know that Zyrtec CAN dry up your milk, but that doesn't mean it dries everyone up, or that it will you. Not everyone's body works the same. Until your milk supply is established, usually a couple of weeks, I would avoid taking it unless you have to. but if you have hives and swelling, you need the med. Hopefully the hospital you are delivering at has a Lactation Consultant. Make sure you work with them. If you have anyissues after you get home, they are still there for you and can help you with ideas and suggestions. good luck to you! And congrats on the new baby.

I have an 11 and a half month old son. I'm still breastfeeding and I take Claritin and Benedryl occasionally for my allergies. So far so good! Good luck to you. Breastfeeding is awesome and so wonderful for the child. You're going to love the experience. So will your baby.

Allegra is safe for breastfeeding too - kudos to your dedication to breastfeeding!!!!

Hello J. and congratulations on being a mom-to-be. I do not have to Zyrtec but I do know that the most important part of breastfeeding comes in the first week through the colostrum even before the breast milk comes in fully. There is a lifetime of antioxidents/vitamins much needed for the baby during this time. Drying up of milk is something many mothers deal with even if they are not on medication. I suggest you nurse until you cannot give enough milk supply. This will satisfy your desire of knowing you at least tried. You do not want to go through life thinking, I wonder if... As a mother of four, I did not breast feed until the 4th child. All of my formula fed children are just as healthy as my 6 month old. My formula fed children did not suffer from ear infections or excessive doctor's visits, so I am not saying breastfeeding is not the best option but I am saying they are just as healthy and beautiful. I pray all works well.

I'm on singulair and it is good. I also have to take claritin with it. The claritin is an antihistamine and the singulair is a leukotreine blocker these together work to block allergies. I'm breastfeeding and have been for 3 months now and my allergies are being controlled with these two working together. I also have allery eye drops (which can make my milk taste biter evidently but the babe doesn't seem to mind too much) which I don't take that often and I have a nose spray that I use sparingly (only when absolutely necessary).
I hope this helps. Claritin is otc now and target and cvs make a generic version, fyi.
Also, I know there is a zyrtec D and a regular zyrtec. D stands for decongestant which would dry up your milk. You may want to check with an allergist about whether or not the regular zyrtec does dry up your milk.
hope this helps!

If you need to take the zyrtec, ask the doctors of how to increase your milk supply. I used fenugreek, i also had to be on medication for a period of time. Make sure to add in some extra time for pumping, don't replace the breast time with bottle. You will need the extra time to increase milk production naturally. It's much harder to do that, but believe me it will work. I was always told of the laws of supply and demand. If milk is demanded everyday at a certain time, it will be supplied. the demand from the baby is the best one as it will trigger the responses for milk production.

Check with the lactation consultants at the hospital but it sounds like many people have done ok with it. The most important thing is to demand-feed so that your body keeps getting the signal that you need milk. When you put a baby on a schedule, your body kind of turns off in between feedings and you can have supply issues if you are also taking a drug that dries you up. So, from the beginning, your response to any rooting or crying should be to feed the baby and then if it is still fussy, see if it's something else. I'd also pump some in between if you feel like you are losing your supply. There are some great natural ways to up your supply if you have trouble and there is one prescription as well. Don't get too worried about it, stress is about the worst thing you can do for your supply, so sit back and enjoy every minute you have nursing your snuggly little baby, don't worry about what tomorrow might bring!

If all else fails, you can get a medical prescription for breastmilk and most insurance companies will pay for donor milk from a bank (usually $4-10 an ounce!!!).

Ask the pharmacist(s).
They mighthave suggestions for you.

I have a very similar problem w/ chronic hives. I took Zyrtec for my 1st pregnancy (daughter currently 17 months old) and breastfed her for the first 12 months and currently am at 12 weeks w/ my 2nd pregnancy. I didn't have an "abundance" of extra breastmilk - but we did just fine and I was able to get her to 6 months exclusively on breast milk. I worked full time and had to pump - so it may be a little easier for you to maintain you supply if you can feed all the time. Best of luck to you. All I can really say is - give it a try and if it doesn't work - you can always think about alternatives! Let me know if you have any other questions!

My OB prescribed Zyrtec for me while I was breastfeeding and I didn't experience any problems, but it was on a "as needed" basis for the sneezy, itchy eye type of allergies.


I can assure you that this drug won't dry you up. I have the same issue (hives, etc) that actually has me on double doses of Zyrtec (2 of the 24 hour pills a day)and Zantac (150 mg 2 times a day) and have successfully breastfed 2 children. My doctor asked me why I was on the Zyrtec, and when I explained about the hives, he said it was a no brainer, that I needed the medicine and it wasn't going to hurt the baby, so keep up normal dosing (normal for me)during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Best of luck!

J., find a pharmacist who specializes in breastfeeding. S/he can give you exact information about breastfeeding and medications that will give you problems. They can also suggest meds that will not complicate breastfeeding. Don't stop your quest until someone can help you. Maybe you can take another safe medication that will counter the affects of Zyrtec.

Hi J., I have allergies & asthma. I breast-fed my baby. Talk to your Dr. or allergy specialist aboout it. Best wishes, & enjoy your new baby.


A product that I used while pregnant and nursing that helped with allergies and other things was OPC-3. It's a natural anti-inflammatory and heavy anti-oxidant. It's in powder form and you mix it w/ water (or other liquid) and drink. Tastes like grape juice and is great as you can take as much or as little as you like without any digestive issues to deal with. I really liked it b/c it was so easy and it didn't affect milk production at all. If you'd like more information or like to try it, email me directly @ ____@____.com.

I'm taking Zyrtec (and have been for 11 years) and breastfeeding an infant and a toodler right now at the same time. I have plenty of milk! I cut back to 5 mg when I can, but throught the spring, summer and fall I have to take the 10 mg per day...we're all fine! I am breastfeeding my four month old exclusively as well. I'd get a second opinion or two or three!

I was having problems with my allergies after the birth of my third child. When I went to my OB/GYN, she prescribed Zyrtec knowing I am breastfeeding. I asked if it was ok to take while I nursed and she said there was no problem.

You will want to read about NAET treatment for allergies. I had one of the highest numbers ever seen(seriously) ever.(Did Mayo,etc.) and this is changing my life. I go to a practitioner named Karen Marshall in FIshers. Her number is
Good Luck!

I have really bad allergies as well! In fact my allergies were so bad,if I went outside for even 10 mins, I wouldn't be able to breathe,had itchy eyes, and a runny nose. I was going to take Zyrtec as well but, if you look on the box, it says don't take if you are breast feeding! I am taking Allegra, NOT the D! It has helped me so much!! I can actually go outside for extended periods of time and not have any ill effects! You do need a prescription for it but,your doctor can write one for you .There is a generic version of Allegra which is cheaper. Good Luck!


My son is 15 months old, and I must tell you that one of the best things I ever did was breast feed him. It was wonderful bonding (I was blessed that he took on to breast feeding very well). I was determined that even if I had to pump until my child was ready to breastfeed, I was going to do it. So if you need any support when your baby comes along, I am here for you. I and several of my friends have had wonderful experiences getting of prescription allergy medication by switching to Shaklee's Nutriferon. It is safe to take while pregnant and nursing. And it is also safe for children (In smaller amounts). Type in Nutriferon in the search engine of www.shaklee.net/gemsoffire for more info or we could talk by phone if you want.

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