Have you ever been told you need to stop breastfeeding because you need medical testing or a medication? Or told that you cannot receive treatment until you are done breastfeeding? Only rarely does the amount transferred into milk produce clinically relevant doses in the infant… Most importantly, it is seldom required that a breastfeeding mother discontinue breastfeeding just to take a medication. It is simply not acceptable for the clinician to stop lactation merely because of heightened anxiety or ignorance on their part. The risks of formula feeding are significant and should not be trivialized. Few drugs have documented side effects in breastfed infants, and we know most of these.
Most antituberculosis drugs appear to be safe for use with breastfeeding. These agents are excreted in breast milk at relatively small concentrations. No adverse effects have been reported to date. The percentages of the therapeutic dose of antituberculosis agents that potentially may be delivered to the nursing infants range from 0.
Most drugs taken by the mother reach breast milk and are ingested by the nursing infant. Most of the drugs are detected in breast milk at low concentrations, so breastfeeding by women taking these drugs is possible. The effect of some drugs on the nursing infant is unknown and further studies are needed. Some drugs may achieve significant infant plasma concentrations and may be unsafe for the infant. In these cases the infant should be carefully monitored for any clinical side effects and whenever observed, breastfeeding should be discontinued.
The PLLR requires changes to the content and format for information presented in prescription drug labeling in the Physician Labeling Rule PLR format to assist health care providers in assessing benefit versus risk and in subsequent counseling of pregnant women and nursing mothers who need to take medication, thus allowing them to make informed and educated decisions for themselves and their children. The PLLR also requires the label to be updated when information becomes outdated. Below is a comparison of the current prescription drug labeling with the new PLLR labeling requirements. The Pregnancy subsection 8.