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What cold drugs can you take whilst breast feeding

(15 Posts)
Wills Sun 07-Dec-03 11:53:40

Unfortunately dd1 and I have woken up this morning with stonking colds. I've been taking paracetamol but really I'd like to take some decongestants - anyone know if I can? Tempted to take dd1's medised cos I know it contains decongestants and you can give to babies over 3 months (dd2 is 3.75 months).

Lemsip would also be nice....

boyandgirl Sun 07-Dec-03 15:48:11

I was there myself recently, and couldn't find any decongestant medicines that were OK. I don't think the amount of decongestant that gets through in the bm can harm the baby (except that Sudafed can make the baby 'speedy' but they all seem to have the side-effect of drying up the milk. The safest thing to do is to steam your head, with or without menthol and eucalyptus. In the end my ears were so painful that I had no choice and I took Sudafed, but only twice a day instead of 3/4 times a day, and also took fenugreek to try to prevent my milk decreasing. Taking medised sounds a good idea!

Absolute bummer, isn't it

boyandgirl Sun 07-Dec-03 15:48:46

Oops, didn't mean to wink.

Wills Sun 07-Dec-03 22:49:05

cripes I didn't realise it would dry up my milk - thanks for the warning.

tiktok Mon 08-Dec-03 13:20:30

No, it won't.

I have just checked it in Hale (Medications and Mothers Milk) mention of it.

It would have to be enormously powerful stuff to dry up the milk.....

boyandgirl Mon 08-Dec-03 13:57:40

tiktok, have I misunderstood?

"Preliminary studies from our laboratories suggest that in some mothers, a significant reduction in milk volume and prolactin levels may result following exposure to pseudoephedrine. While the amount of pseudoephedrine in milk is not clinically relevant, the reduction in milk supply is concerning." (Medications' and Mothers' Milk by Thomas Hale, PhD, 2002 edition, p. 605.)

Dr. Hale was speaking of this study, which is now complete: Aljazaf K, et. al. Pseudoephedrine: effects on milk production in women and estimation of infant exposure via breastmilk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Jul;56(1):18-24.

tiktok Mon 08-Dec-03 14:14:00

Sorry, B& have a more up to date edition than me, and I have checked that study, and while it's small, it certainly does give pause for thought. Thanks, and sorry again : (

tiktok Mon 08-Dec-03 14:17:30

Should add that it reduced the milk, and didn't dry it up....but reducing would be bad enough if there was a supply issue.

ScotsBird Mon 08-Dec-03 14:18:33

Hi there ... sorry to butt in, but I am breastfeeding and have a stinker of a cold at the mo. I am just back from the pharmacy and they said I can take Sudafed, as long as its not the Dual Relief stuff. The one I got was behind the counter unlike the others. The pharmacist didnt mention anything about reducing milk supply - I hope he had the up-to-date Hale's ...

codswallop Mon 08-Dec-03 14:19:42

echinacea - or whatever?

florenceuk Mon 08-Dec-03 14:21:08

I think the sedating ones can knock baby out a bit as well. See the link I posted earlier: link\kellymom site{}, which also links to Dr Hale's site.

florenceuk Mon 08-Dec-03 14:21:53


the link is kellymom site

boyandgirl Mon 08-Dec-03 14:34:22

FWIW, here's my experience: I didn't manage to breastfeed my first child, and I was determined to do my utter best with no2, so bfing was a major issue for me. I found establishing bfing very difficult, and dd was slow to gain weight, so naturally I worried about the amount of milk I had. In the early months I would not take any drugs whatsoever, other than the occasional paracetamol if I was desperate. I did take fenugreek as I felt that helped to boost my milk supply. Now dd is nearly one and I feel quite different, and under the circumstances am more prepared to take the risk of reducing my milk supply. I only took Sudafed for 3 days, and it didn't appear to have any effect on dd. I took fenugreek as well, but TBH I don't think my milk supply was affected one way or the other. What I suppose I'm trying to say is that if you have confidence in your milk supply, or if the baby is more than a few months old, probably Sudafed is worth the risk if you're feeling dreadful.

tinyfeet Mon 08-Dec-03 14:41:07

I believe they're the same ones you can take while you are pregnant: sudafed, benadryl, tylenol.

boyandgirl Tue 09-Dec-03 13:48:37

On the other hand, I was told in no uncertain terms that Sudafed was absolutely contraindicated during pregnancy!

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