20 doctors weighed in:

Can I take allergy medications while breastfeeding?

20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Pediatrics
7 doctors agree

In brief: Yes, no "D"

Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding.
We need to consider the effect on the baby, the effect on you and the effect on the milk supply. The antihistamines have long been considered compatible with breastfeeding. The only caveat is the effect on the milk supply. The "d" in some preparations (like zyrtec (cetirizine) d) is pseudoephedrine, which decreases milk supply.

In brief: Yes, no "D"

Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding.
We need to consider the effect on the baby, the effect on you and the effect on the milk supply. The antihistamines have long been considered compatible with breastfeeding. The only caveat is the effect on the milk supply. The "d" in some preparations (like zyrtec (cetirizine) d) is pseudoephedrine, which decreases milk supply.
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
Dr. Jennifer Thomas
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Dr. Maziar Rezvani
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends...

On the medicine. You should read the package insert of any drug while breastfeeding and pay attention to the fda classification for it's safety during breastfeeding.

In brief: Depends...

On the medicine. You should read the package insert of any drug while breastfeeding and pay attention to the fda classification for it's safety during breastfeeding.
Dr. Maziar Rezvani
Dr. Maziar Rezvani
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Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

The common short acting antihistamines will often produce a decrease in milk volume so many suggest they be avoided.
Many moms can work around this issue by useing longer acting products without this effect. Steroid nasal sprays are unlikely to have any effect on the milk or baby and may give you some relief.

In brief: Yes

The common short acting antihistamines will often produce a decrease in milk volume so many suggest they be avoided.
Many moms can work around this issue by useing longer acting products without this effect. Steroid nasal sprays are unlikely to have any effect on the milk or baby and may give you some relief.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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Chethan Sarabu
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes, Use LactMed

First of all formula feeding puts your child at an increased risk for infections, allergies, and chronic illness later in life including diabetes.
So it is not just that breastfeeding is beneficial but rather that formula feeding is actually more harmful. (stuebe and schwarz 09) so the risk from a drug is usually minor compared to not breastfeeding. That being said, lactmed is a great resource.

In brief: Yes, Use LactMed

First of all formula feeding puts your child at an increased risk for infections, allergies, and chronic illness later in life including diabetes.
So it is not just that breastfeeding is beneficial but rather that formula feeding is actually more harmful. (stuebe and schwarz 09) so the risk from a drug is usually minor compared to not breastfeeding. That being said, lactmed is a great resource.
Chethan Sarabu
Chethan Sarabu
Answer assisted by Chethan Sarabu, Medical Student
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Dr. Hary Katz
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Most allergy medications are considered safe.
Nasal sprays (saline and nasal corticosteroids) are preferred. Regarding oral antihistamines, longer-acting/less-sedating oral antihistamines (i.e. Claritin) are preferred over short-acting/sedating antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl) due to less potential to sedate the baby. Long-term use of Pseudoephedrine has the potential to decrease mom's milk supply.

In brief: Yes

Most allergy medications are considered safe.
Nasal sprays (saline and nasal corticosteroids) are preferred. Regarding oral antihistamines, longer-acting/less-sedating oral antihistamines (i.e. Claritin) are preferred over short-acting/sedating antihistamines (i.e. Benadryl) due to less potential to sedate the baby. Long-term use of Pseudoephedrine has the potential to decrease mom's milk supply.
Dr. Hary Katz
Dr. Hary Katz
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1 comment
Dr. Brian Novick
Of course, you should check with your OB and Peds to review your specific circumstances
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

The typical over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines are ok to take while breastfeeding.
Many of these drugs are approved for use in children themselves, if 2 years or older. Examples include: oral allegra, claritin, singulair, & zyrtec, and nasal sprays nasacort aq, nasonex, & veramyst. Pediatricians also use plain Benadryl (diphenhydramine) syrup, for toddlers down to age 1 year.

In brief: Yes

The typical over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines are ok to take while breastfeeding.
Many of these drugs are approved for use in children themselves, if 2 years or older. Examples include: oral allegra, claritin, singulair, & zyrtec, and nasal sprays nasacort aq, nasonex, & veramyst. Pediatricians also use plain Benadryl (diphenhydramine) syrup, for toddlers down to age 1 year.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Russell Faust
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Most over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications are considered safe for nursing mothers to take, but they range from "safest" to "safer" to "moderately safe.
" regardless, the longer you nurse your little wonder, the lower their likelihood of inheriting your allergies. Just one more benefit of nursing!

In brief: Yes

Most over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications are considered safe for nursing mothers to take, but they range from "safest" to "safer" to "moderately safe.
" regardless, the longer you nurse your little wonder, the lower their likelihood of inheriting your allergies. Just one more benefit of nursing!
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faust
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