Lorna C. Aliperti, APRN, IBCLC

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Cold and Allergy Medicine

Information from A Medication Guide for Breastfeeding Moms by Thomas Hale, Ph.D.

Probably Safe Brands:

  • Claritin
  • Allegra
  • Alka Seltzer Plus cold and sinus tablets
  • Cheracol D Cough formula syrup
  • Cheracol Plus liquid
  • Robitussin cough and congestion formula liquid
  • Robitussin sugar free cough liquid
  • Robitussin DM liquid
  • Tylenol sinus severe congestion tablets
  • Vicks 44 E cough & chest congestion relief

Probably Safe Ingredients:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Phenylephrine
  • Guafenesin
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Loratidine
  • Fexofenadine

Ingredients that can have Undesirable Side Effects:

  • Pseudoephedrine, while safe for infants, lowers prolactin levels and thus can reduce milk supply
  • Diphenhydramine—observe for infant sedation and there are reports of reduced milk supply

Unsafe Brands:

  • Primatene tablets
  • Prometh VC with codeine cough syrup
  • Tavist allergy/sinus/headache tablets

Unsafe Ingredients:

  • Ephedrine
  • Promethazine and codeine together
  • Clemastine
  • Dear Lorna, This is a very belated thank you, but the timing seems appropriate. On Monday my daughter and I will achieve a major milestone – 6 months of successful breastfeeding. It was very important to me to breastfeed for at least 6 months, but when my daughter was 7 weeks old, I was in so much pain that I did not think we would be able to achieve this goal. Fortunately, that is when Dr. Cahill recommended that I call you. The protocol and encouragement you provided allowed me to continue to breastfeed – and to grow to love it! Now I think I will even continue to breastfeed for another 6 months! Thank you so much for your help. You are a gifted practitioner! Suzanna Pollak