Can I Take Allergy Medicines While Breastfeeding?
My allergies and asthma really get me down. What medicines can I safely take while I’m breastfeeding?
When illnesses get you down, you’ll have a hard time maintaining a good milk supply and taking care of your baby. It’s good to do something about your symptoms, rather than thinking you must suffer through them because you are breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is important when, as in your case, there are allergies in the family. The longer you breastfeed the less likely your child is to inherit your allergies, and breastfeeding may also decrease your own allergy symptoms for a while. Stress can trigger or aggravate asthma and allergies. Breastfeeding stimulates your natural tranquilizing hormones, which may, in turn, reduce the severity of your allergies.
The prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications commonly used to treat allergy symptoms are safe to take while breastfeeding. These include: antihistamines , inhalant bronchodilators , cromolyn , decongestants , and cortisone sprays and tablets. Temporary irritability has been reported in newborns of mothers taking high doses of theophylline, yet this medication is considered safe to take while breastfeeding the infant over six months. Actually, newer and safer albuterol -containing inhalants have replaced most of the theophylline- containing medicines in the treatment of asthma . Unless your doctor has a good reason for suggesting otherwise, it’s better for nursing mothers to take albuterol-containing bronchodilators by inhalation rather than orally. Inhalant bronchodilators work better and have fewer side effects, and less of the medication is absorbed into the maternal blood stream, so that there will be less in the milk.
As always, be sure to check directly with your doctor before taking any medication while breastfeeding, because you may have a special medical situation.