Alternative to Amoxicillin for Breastfeeding Mom

Updated on January 30, 2008
M.R. asks from Marcellus, NY
40 answers

I have a raging sinus infection to which my primary care physician prescribed Amoxicillin. Problem is, I would have to pump and dump for 7 days and my 4 month old doesn't take a bottle very kindly. Has anyone been in this predicament and have suggestions for a substitute for this antibiotic?

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So What Happened?

Thank you to all who responded with great advice. After contacting both my ob/gyn and a lactation consultant, they both couldn't understand why my pcp had told me to pump and dump. I am currently taking the amoxicillin and after 4 days, have seen no effects on my 4 month old. And, happily, I'm beginning to feel like my old self. (Will definitely try neti pot in the future as our household battles allergies.)

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A.P.

answers from New York on

Melissa,

I use to get sinus infections all the time when i was pregnant with my last baby. I was prescribed Amoxicillin all the time. Totally safe. i still stuffer from them so I stared using the neti pot. It works wonders. I also use it when on my kids when they have a cold or their allergies start acting up.

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C.R.

answers from Syracuse on

maybe the z pack? I don't know, I was on amox and the zpack when I was pregnant....I'd think they'd both be safe afterwards...

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S.S.

answers from Albany on

I don't know who told that you had to pump and dump. But that is incorrect. I just finished a week of Amoxicillin while nursing a 4 month old. Your local chapter of La Leche League can help you. To find a local chapter look on the web at Lalecheleague.org . Your doctor can also look in the latest copy of "Medications and Mothers Milk" written by Thomas W. Hale. It is updated every year. Sorry that you got some bad advice. When it comes to breastfeeding. The La Leche League has the most up to date information. I'm, not telling you to go against what your doctor tells you. But I know someone that is a doctor. They do not get much training on breastfeeding. The La Leche League can back up all there advice. Try them out.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from New York on

OMG!. Pump and dump??!! Pediatricians give amoxicillin to newborn babies!!!!!Direct!!! The minute amounts that actually pass into breastmilk are exactly .95% of the maternal dose. There are no pediatric concerns reported. There is no reason why you can't continue to breastfeed your baby ! I'm referencing from "Medications and Mother's Milk", A manual of Lactational Pharmacology by Thomas W. Hale, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Texas State University, School of Medicine, Amarillo, Texas, 12th edition. Ask your Doctor to get himself a copy of this valuable reference book. Better yet give him a copy so the next mom doesn't have to go through this. Good luck! Have fun nursing your baby! C. Clark, IBCLC

1 mom found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from New York on

Hi! You don't need to pump and dump when taking Amoxicillin--it is acceptable for use during breastfeeding. See below

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~6s...

Toxnet is a great place to search meds which affect/do not affect breastfeeding. There are not that many drugs you cannot safely take while breastfeeding.

Best wishes! Share this with your doc. You can also buy Medications and Mother's Milk by Hale from Amazon or local bookstore and it lists most meds and their safety/risks.

A. White S., CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor)
Big Apple Doula

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C.T.

answers from New York on

Hi, I have never had this problem but have a friend who has chronic sinus problems. Her solution was to boil saline solution and then after the saline solution cooled off, she would squirt the saline solution into her nose. This kills the bacteria that is living inside the nasal cavity. It will not be a quick fix but will work. I added a link for you to check out.
http://www.drfeder.com/children/sinus-natural-neti.htm
I hope this helps you.

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S.K.

answers from Albany on

Melissa,
Amoxicillin is safe to take during breastfeeding. I am a mom of 3 and have nursed them all. You can contact your local La Leache League and talk to them my sister in law is a leader with them and anytime i had a concern i would ask her. She told me rule of thumb is if it is safe to take during pregnancy it is safe while nursing. I have taken amoxicillin during my pregnancys and nursing. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. My dr has told me to be sure i up my fluid intake while i have a sinus infection. Good luck and i hope you feel better. You can also call your obgyn and ask them about the medicines while nursing.
Sherri

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I.H.

answers from New York on

I have a 4 month old and I had a terrible sinus infection a few weeks ago (I'm highly allergic to mold and my son's room had some mold in it). My symptoms were: itching throat (very irritated), watering eyes, stuffy and runny nose, and fever - I never had such a bad sinus infection!

My doctor prescribed Cefuroxime Axetil 500mg (general name for CEFTIN) and there was no pumping and dumping.

I tried to do some research online to find out what type of medication I could take that wouldn't go to breast milk but it was very tough. They all made reference to 'ask your doctor'. But all the doctors don't know and don't seem to care if you are breastfeeding or not.

The solution: Call you local La Leche League and ask if someone has the book about safe meds to take while breastfeeding if you ever need to know anything about a specific medication. The medication above had a rating of L2 (L1 being safest, L5 being 'do not take this medication').

I also heard about The Nursing Mother's herbal book by Sheila Humphrey. I don't have this but it got recommended by a girlfriend.

Good luck!
I.

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D.K.

answers from New York on

Colotial Silver is a Natural Antibiotic that will not interfere with breastfeeding. Most Health Stores carry it. The best I have seen is from Health Thru Nutrition
Their website is: www.gohtn.com/tommieweber
It is listed under products.
There is a spray attachment that you can use for eyes, nose and ears.

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L.R.

answers from Binghamton on

Alternative meds come in all forms. I am an Aromatherapist meaning I use essential oils for their therapuetic uses. You can use a number of different oils as a steam inhalation. Some oils are anti viral, bactericidal, anti-fungal and much more. You can use safely tea tree oil, lavender, pine. I recommend using only high quality essential oils organic is preferrable. I also do make blends for people and usually charge $15 to 20. Email me at [email protected]____.com if you have any other questions-L.

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M.S.

answers from Utica on

As far as I know, Amoxicillin is safe while nursing. If you're particularly concerned with it and still want to take an antibiotic, I would ask your dr about Omnicef or other non-penicillin based antibiotics. Then there's all the non-medicine treatment options like homeopathic remedies already mentioned, and chiropractic care (yep, it works. Don't ask me how!). Best of luck and speedy recovery.

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A.B.

answers from New York on

It sounds like the Amoxicillin is OK for breastfeeding -- but I agree with other posters who recommend that you should check in with a lactation consultant. Another safe antibiotic is Omnicef. I've taken a couple courses of that for sinus infections while breastfeeding, and it was fine for the babies (I'm nursing twins) and cleared up my illnesses quickly.

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T.W.

answers from Buffalo on

Why do you have to pump and dump? Most medications are safe to use while breastfeeding. Contact your local La Leche League leader and they will most likely have Dr. Hale's Mother's Milk and Medications Guide to look up your particular med you were prescribed. It is very rare that a medication would be contraindicated for breastfeeding. If it is in fact unsafe to use while breastfeeding, then contact your PCP and demand he prescribe one that is! Get a list of safe meds from your LLL leader and show it to your doctor. Most docs arent familiar with meds and breastfeeding. There is ZERO reason for you to pump and dump and to offer your baby anything but your own milk. There are plenty of meds that are safe, and yours might even be one of them. Ironically, I just ordered a copy of the book for myself, but it was just shipped this morning, or else I would just look it up for you! They may even have a copy at your local library you can bring to your doctor. Good luck.

*EDIT* I got my Hale's book today...it is catagorized as an L1 which means it "has been taken by a large number of bfing moms without any observed increase in adverse effects in the infant. Controlled studies in bfing women fail to demonstrate a risk to the infant and the possibility of harm to the infant is remote; or the product is not orally bioavailable in an infant."

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R.B.

answers from New York on

I'm pretty sure it is safe to take amoxicillan while breastfeeding. You should talk to your doctor about it but just in case here is a link to what it says about nursing and the antibiotic.
http://www.medicinenet.com/amoxicillin/article.htm
If you want to go the natural route (which is always better if possible) try a Netti Pot (you can get it at a local health food store or whole foods). It is a saline nasal wash pot and it work so well. I used to frequently get sinus infections until I started using on of these. Make sure you use non-iodized salt - one quarter teaspoon in the pot with warm water . I'd rinse your sinuses twice a day at least until the mucus is clear. I swear by it. Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from New York on

No need to pump and dump with Amoxicillin. It's safe while breastfeeding, unless there's penicillin allergy in the family history. In that case, you'd need an alternate antibiotic, but antibiotics are almost always safe during breastfeeding. Take probiotics from the health food store whenever on antibiotics to prevent yeast overgrowth due to the antibiotic.
I'm a board certified lactation consultant.

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J.A.

answers from Buffalo on

I am curious as to why you have to pump and dump. Did your pediatrician tell you to do so? I had a throat infection when my son was a few months old and was on amoxicillin. I called my pediatrician and she said that it was still safe to breastfeed while taking it. My son never had any problems. Usually this antibiotic is safe to take while breastfeeding.

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L.N.

answers from New York on

I was put on anitbiotics twice while nursing my son and I specifically asked for one I could take while nursing...I cant remember what they were but could find out if you needed to know. The first time was for mastitis and the second bronchitis. I also called the local La Leche League and asked them their opinion and they were very helpful. I never had to pump which was great for me because my son had never had a bottle and didnt seem too interested in drinking from one. There are definitely options for you and If your doctor isn't being helpful with alternative medication, I would suggest you call your pediatrician and ask them as well. If all else fails, call your area La Leche League. I can't tell you how informative they were. They can definitely give you info on antibiotics that are safe...they did for me. Best of luck to you and your baby.

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W.A.

answers from Rochester on

You might want to try a neti pot! It is basically a little teapot that you fill with a saline solution and pour up your nose... I know, it sounds strange, but it can really help with a sinus infection. It doesn't hurt and in fact it feels pretty good. If you do a search on youtube, you can easily find a (pretty hilarious) video that shows you how to use it. They can be purchased at healthfood stores or drug stores. Also, keep yourself healthy by eating plenty of whole grains and veggies, drink plenty of water and lay off the sugar. You can also take a vitamin C supplement. Hope you feel better!

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A.S.

answers from Rochester on

Talk with a lactation consultant for antibiotic alternatives.

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R.D.

answers from New York on

Hi Melissa,
I believe I took the 5 day Z-Pack. There are definitely other alternatives. Your PCP should have prescribed a medication they knew would be safe for a breastfeeding mother. There is a medical book which ranks the safety of all medications for breasfeeding mothers. I ALWAYS call my lactation specialist to make sure the meds are safe. If you don't have one, simply look in phone book and call one; they will look it up and tell you over the phone. You should not have to pump and dump.
Best of luck to you. Feel better.....

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T.F.

answers from Albany on

I have never taken antibiotics for something like that. If you eliminate dairy from your diet for the week, you'll cut back on how much musus your body is producing. Increase your water and vitamin c by a lot, and if you can, take some echinacea, an herbal immune system booster, and raw garlic, also an immune system booster. Try to rest and you'll be alright. If you have a vaporizer, put that on by your bed and around the house and put eucalyptus or teatree oil in it, both will open your sinuses, and teatree oil has natural antibacterial elements that will help get rid of germs.
Feel better!

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C.D.

answers from Syracuse on

Try saline solution in your nose, irrigate it. I have many sinus infections a year, so does mom. Try wrapping your head in a towel at night, or even wear a hat, that's my moms advise she has dealt with sinus infections over 50 years. Personally, I use a heating pad on my face for about an hour, on low, the heat helps.

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A.M.

answers from New York on

My advice is: do not take the antibiotic. Besides the fact that you are breastfeeding and your baby is ONLY 4 months old, and doesn't take a bottle, taking an antibiotic could put you at risk for chronic sinus infections.
Our friend had recurrent sinus infections for many years, and took antibiotics every winter. My husband suggested he try an alternate route ~ our friend had amazing results with an acupuncturist and has not had a sinus infection since!
There are many avenues to help promote your well-being ~~ homeopathy, herbs, holistic, acupuncture, alignment of the spine/chiropractic, yoga ~~ besides taking an antibiotic. You will need to ask questions and do some research, and in the long run your overall health will improve and your body will be stronger to fight off the next illness it is exposed to~! and drink ALOT of water ! boost your immune system with such supplements as: vitamin C, elderberry syrup, astragalus tincture, seaweed (nature's most amazing food full of vitamins and minerals).

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K.D.

answers from New York on

Check with your doctor again, because when I was breastfeeding, my doctor said amoxocillin is safe in usual doses for breastfeeding. I had timed it so that I would take a dose right after a feeding. I looked it up on a couple medical websights, it is listed with the safe for breastfeeding drugs, and The American Academy of Pediatrics states "amoxocillin is usually compatible with breastfeeding" usually because in usual doses. Ask your doctor if the dosage you are prescribed is within the normal or usual amount prescribed. If so you are probably safe to keep breastfeeding.

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E.C.

answers from New York on

call a la leche league leader and discuss your options. I know I've requested alternative antibiotics and therapies so i could continue to nurse uninteruppted. most primary care md's don't know squat about nursing!

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S.L.

answers from Binghamton on

There are numerous alternative therapies for sinus infections. Homeopathy is fine to take for breastfeeding moms. Also try a neti pot which irrigates the nasal passages and relieves sinus pressure. You should be able to find both things at your local health food store. There are several bodywork techniques that can really help as well; acupuncture, cranial-sacral therapy (www.upledger.com to find a practitioner), or The Bowen Technique (www.bowenwork.com to find a practitioner).

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L.D.

answers from New York on

you could use a different antibiotic if you are concerned or just stick it out with some tylenol, it will pass. but as far as i can see, short time use of amoxicillin seems fine.

most antibiotics are ok for breastfeeding moms, just check with your local lactation consultant or online at kellymom or lll or dr sear's site.

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A.J.

answers from Albany on

Didn't you talk to your dr. about this? Antibiotics are perfectly safe to take while breastfeeding, with the exception of tetracycline(sp) and sulfa drugs. Amoxicillin is safe.

I do not see the need to pump & dump. What a watse of your precious milk & energy. Try and time it so that you do not feed baby immediately following your dose if you are really bothered by it. For instance, take your meds at bedtime, and just before baby's first nap.

Call your doc. or pharmacist to ease your mind.

A.

Edited: I just found this link. Perhaps this will help.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_drug-safety-during-breastfeed...

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E.P.

answers from New York on

Have you tried a neti pot? Apparently sinus infections do not always respond to antibiotics anyway and the neti pot is sometimes more helpful. Also acupuncture can help tremendously.

E., mom to Austin 23 mos

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S.M.

answers from New York on

As far as I know Amoxicillin is fine while breastfeeding. Check out KellyMom.com http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/aap-approved-meds.htm...

I would double-check with your physician or lactation consultant to be sure, but I'm pretty sure I was told that amoxicillin was safe.

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J.F.

answers from New York on

I am a family nurse practitioner and Amoxacillin is a category B in pregnancy and safe for lactation. Hope this helps let me know if you have any more questions. I am a mom to a 15 month old and I breastfed while taking a similar medication for a sinus infection.

J.

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A.R.

answers from New York on

OK, here is some advise. Google or purchase "Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child" by Janet Rand, Robert Roundtree and Rachel Walston. Has conventional, herbal, dietary, nutritional, homeopathic and massage / accupressure guidelines. Here are some from there and from my own family:

Make your own saline, or buy a saline spray at a drug store, and use liberally to thin mucus! This has stopped the cycle of sinus sickness in our family, for babies, toddlers and adults alike (but with babies we use breastmilk in their nose instead of saline). You can google making your own saline for sinuses.

Boil cloves of chopped garlic for a while, add enough lemon juice and honey to cut the taste and then add cayenne pepper.

Eliminate all Milk & Dairy (except breastmilk) for one week.

Spanish Garlic Soup (my partner's family recipe) or other high-garlic recipes: Garlic is an anti-bacterial. Buy Garlic supplements at a health food store or cook this soup: Using at least 5 -8 cloves chopped into large pieces, sautee in olive oil with top on till soft and not too brown. add hard bread, old crusts of bread, etc and sautee for anotehr minute till oil is soaked in. add some chicken broth or stock, or veggie if you dont eat meat. cook until bread is soft. serve hot.

Supplements to take: Vitamin C, Zinc, Carotenoids, Bromelain.

Make a tea of fenugreek and thyme.

Take an echinecea and goldenseal complex. goldenseal is a very powerful anti-bacterial, google guidelines on breastfeeding with it, but i know that some amount is fine.

Make hot compress to put over the sinueses (center of face around nose and side of head between nose and ear): boil one large ginger root, grated, into one pint water, afetr it boils turn it down adn simmer for five minutes, then soak a washcloths, wring out so its not dripping and hold over sinuses repeating several times.

GOOD LUCK!

A. (new york city)

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D.S.

answers from New York on

try a netti pot...one of those nasal irrigators (i don't know if that's how you spell it)...you can buy the pot at walmart, it looks like a little tea pot and it's with sinus medicine...you can also get the same thing at any health store and they could help you on how to use it, most likely....it seems wierd because you're pouring a watery solution through one side of your nose and it's coming out the other side...but if you do it correctly, it works amazingly..
p.s. it doesn't feel like you're drowning :)

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M.K.

answers from New York on

So I was able to contact them and get the recipe for you:

1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup warm water
a pinch of goldenseal for infections only

Hope this helps!

Hi Melissa,

I was in a similar situation - the other posters wrote about a Neti pot, and I would concur. I was given a recipe to use for the nasal rinse, and it worked AMAZINGLY well!

I can't remember the proportions (and I'm at work and can't look them up) but it was using goldenseal powder and maybe salt or baking soda. It might have just been goldenseal.

If you call this shop - they'll be able to tell you exactly.

Useful Weeds
Herb & Tea Shop
42 Oak Street
Manchester, CT 06040
###-###-####
800.742.0631

It really did work QUICKLY and gently. With no affects to my baby...or me (i hate taking antibiotics!).

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
M.

C.S.

answers from New York on

Ever hear of a Neti pot? Google it, you'll find pictures, testimonials, and even a youtube video showing you how to use on. It looks like a tea pot. You stand over the sink put the spout in one nostril and pour. The water runs through your sinus cavity and out the other nostril. REALLY. It washes out your nasal cavity. And helps with sinus infections. Dr. Oz had one on Oprah a while back.
Make sure you use salted water. Usually the salts are sold right next to the neti pot.
We bought ours at Wild Oats, but you should be able to find them at any health food store.

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J.M.

answers from New York on

I am unsure of why you would have to pump and dump?? I was prescribed Amoxicillin and Azithromycin while pregnant and while breastfeeding. Both are class B drugs which make them safe for consumption by you. I would call and ask your pediatrician, and OB to cross reference. I am sure they will tell you it's fine to take these, and resume normal breastfeeding habits. Good Luck!

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J.T.

answers from Rochester on

I haad the same problem recently and my doctor prescribed augmentin. It cleared up my infection and I eas able to continue nursing.

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M.K.

answers from New York on

I have never heard of that,

I had amoxicillin when the baby was born,

and for Vaginal strep, and othing ever happend to my children

I breasst fed aswell, I have 3 children,

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R.T.

answers from New York on

Hi Melissa,

I don't have an alternative to amoxicillin, but a something you can do is take about 1/8 of teaspoon of cayenne pepper and put it in a hot cup of water in the morning & drink that, it should help with the infection. Cayenne pepper has antibiotic properties in it and can help clear up the nasal passages.

Good luck!

R.

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