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Can You Take Allergy Pills While Breastfeeding

Will Taking Allergy Medicine Dry Up My Milk

Is it safe to take over-the-counter allergy medication while nursing?

There is a significant concern amongst parents regarding the risk of allergy medication drying up milk. The fears are not unfounded as some antihistamines can, and do, dry up milk.;

In fact, some parents use specific allergy medication to speed up the weaning process.

Luckily rarely will small, infrequent doses of allergy medications negatively impact your milk supply. And the medications that post the most significant risk to milk production will be mentioned below.

But first…

Various types of medications are used to treat allergies, and there numerous ways to ingest them. The mechanisms by which each allergy medicine works will depend on the kind of medication and the method of ingestion.;

What Can I Take For Sore Throat While Breastfeeding

Try the following to help the discomfort of a cold or a sore throat when breastfeeding:

  • Take honey and lemon mixed in hot water, or sip on other warm fluids like natural teas to keep your throat moist.
  • Gargle some salt water.
  • If you have a cough, try a cough medicine that is based on glycerine and honey.

Allegra And Breastfeeding Safety For Moms Needing Allergy Medication

You do not have to worry about Allegra and breastfeeding safety if you need to take allergy medication while nursing your little one.

The fact is that many breastfeeding moms regularly use antihistamines, sometimes in combination with decongestants, for cold symptoms or seasonal allergies.

The older families of antihistaminesdiphenhydramine , chlorpheniramine, and brompheniraminemay produce sedation in infants but not always. That is not the case with Allegra. It is nonsedating, and therefore will not predispose them to breathing difficulties caused by some other choices!

Recommended Reading: Can Allergies Cause Fatigue And Body Aches

Which Medications Are Safe For Breastfeeding

Nobody outside of your doctor can tell you which medications are safe for you to take. With that said, generally, most drugs are considered compatible with breastfeeding, meaning they should pose little to no risk of adverse side effects for lactation or your baby.;

Overview of compatibility of allergy medication based ingestion method

  • Pill/capsules: Medication gets released in the stomach and travels through the bloodstream to have a response. Has the most potential for entering breast milk.

  • Nasal sprays: Usually only has local absorption and poses little risk to breastfeeding babies.

  • Inhalers: Rarely cause issues with breastfeeding due to the small amount of medication absorbed into the bloodstream.

  • Eye drops: Absorption of eye drops is minimal, and not enough medication would enter the bloodstream to then transfer into human milk.;

In other words, there’s little concern when using nasal sprays, inhalers, or eye drops. Should you have symptom relief through those methods alone, there’s no need to take oral allergy medication. However, I will cover all of these over the counter options if you’d like more information.

If Breastfeeding What Can You Do And What Can You Use

What Cold Medicines Can I Take While Breastfeeding?

There are many natural remedies that you can use that will help to alleviate the symptoms of an allergy attack. Fortunately there are quite a few over the counter medications for allergies that are completely safe for breastfeeding mums to take so that your entire spring season isnt missed. These are perfectly safe for baby as well.

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Drugs Reported As Safe During Breastfeeding In Normal Doses

Drug or Class

Rx; used to treat or prevent blood clots.

Very low milk levels occur with warfarin doses up to at least 12 mg daily.

No side effects in breastfed infants have been reported from maternal warfarin use during breastfeeding, even with a dose of 25 mg daily for 7 days.

There is a consensus that maternal warfarin therapy during breastfeeding poses little risk to the breastfed infant. No special precautions are needed.1

Rx – prescription only; OTC – over-the-counter

My Allergies And Asthma Really Get Me Down What Medicines Can I Safely Take While Im Breastfeeding

When illnesses get you down, youll have a hard time maintaining a good milk supply and taking care of your baby. Its 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.

As always, be sure to check directly with your doctor before taking any medication while breastfeeding, because you may have a special medical situation.

Also Check: Most Common Drug Allergies List

Use Of Antihistamines While Breastfeeding:

It is safe to use all antihistamines while breastfeeding. Only a minimal amount of these drugs pass into the breast milk; there are no serious concerns about the use of antihistamines while nursing. But you may find it useful to know detailed information about antihistamine use while breastfeeding.

  • Second generation antihistamines like fexofenadine are considered safer to use compared with first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, and others. The reason for this is that newer antihistamines do not cause sedating effects in users. Drowsiness can be risky for anyone as it can interfere with just about any task. Imagine feeling sleepy while driving with your infant to the doctor or any such dangerous scenario. The sedating effects of antihistamines can also transfer to your breastfeeding infant. If you are concerned with this aspect of antihistamines, ask your doctor to recommend one that causes the least sedative effect. All second-generation antihistamines like fexofenadine, loratadine, cetirizine and desloratadine are non-sedating drugs.
  • There are clinical studies available on first-generation antihistamines. But adequate research is not yet available for all second-generation antihistamines. Clinical research on the effects of fexofenadine during lactation is low .;

Can I Take Allergy Medications While Breastfeeding

Safety of anti allergic medications when lactating – Dr. Varsha Shridhar

Yes, you can definitely find certain medicines approved for use during breastfeeding. You need to talk about it with your doctor who will tell you what types of allergy medications you can or cannot take during this special time. Generally, most OTC medications for allergy are safe while nursing. Certain prescription medications are ok too. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

General Rules

  • It is important to select over-the-counter allergy medications carefully and making sure they do not combine several other drugs and only tackle one symptom at a time. Check the ingredient list to know for sure what you are taking.
  • Stick with short-acting forms of allergy medicine while nursing as compared to the long-active varieties.
  • Take allergy medicine only when you really need it. Take your medication after you have finished nursing.
  • Recommended Reading: Does Mucinex Help Allergies

    What Medicines Can I Take While Breastfeeding

    Allergy and hay fever medicines: Antihistamines that do not make you sleepy are considered safe. Nasal sprays and eye drops are safe. Antihistamines that make you sleepy are not recommended because they may make your baby drowsy.

    Antibiotics: Most antibiotics to fight infections are safe, but take your doctor’s advice. Tetracyclines may be used short term. Metronidazole can make the milk taste bitter.

    Antidepressants: Some antidepressants are safe. Discuss with your doctor.

    Asthma medicines: Most preventers and relievers are safe. It is very important that you do not stop your asthma medicines while you are breastfeeding.

    Cold and flu medicine: It is best to use steam inhalations, saline nasal sprays and decongestant nasal sprays. Avoid medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

    Cough medicines: Coughs usually go away without treatment. If you do want to take cough mixture, ask your pharmacist which one is suitable. Avoid medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

    Painkillers: Ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe. Avoid aspirin.

    Worm treatments: Most worm treatments are safe.

    Sore throat medicines: Lozenges and gargles are safe. Avoid medicines containing iodine.

    Most Common Method Of Ingestion

    • Pills/Capsules

    • Inhalers

    Most discussions of allergy medication focus on antihistamines and decongestants.

    I wanted to include ALL allergy medication types/options because there’s a large population of lactating parents who need more intense allergy medications to get through their seasonal allergies. However, due to time and space, I’ve decided to break this into two parts; Part one that focuses on common allergy meds, and Part two, less common medications for allergies.

    Read Also: Can Allergies Make You Throw Up

    Lactation Risk Categories Explained

    Drs. Thomas Hale and Kaytlin Krutsch have performed extensive research on the effects of medications in mothers milk. They have given each medication a rating from Safest to Hazardous .

    L1 Safest: Extensive evidence demonstrating no adverse effects on the infant

    L2 Safer: Limited evidence without an increase in adverse effects on the infant

    L3 Probably Safe: No studies, but expert opinion suggesting safety. Risk to the infant is possible, and further evaluation must be taken to consider individual situations.

    L4 Possibly Hazardous: Positive evidence or expert opinion of risk to the infant or milk production.

    L5 Hazardous: Significant and documented risk to the infant.

    Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

    Adapted from previous InfantRisk articles authored by James Abbey, MD, Erika Anderson, MS4, Thomas W. Hale, Ph.D., and Teresa Baker, MD.


    1. Hale, Thomas Wright. Hale’s Medications & Mothers’ Milk, 2021: A Manual of Lactational Pharmacology. Springer Publishing Company, 2021.

    2. Walsh P, Rothenberg SJ, Bang H. Safety of ibuprofen in infants younger than six months: A retrospective cohort study. Leong C, ed. PLOS ONE. 2018;13:e0199493. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199493

    3.Findlay, Jw, et al. Pseudoephedrine and Triprolidine in Plasma and Breast Milk of Nursing Mothers. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, vol. 18, no. 6, 1984, pp. 901906., doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.1984.tb02562.x.

    Can I Continue To Breastfeed My Baby While Taking My Allergy Medicine

    NyQuil and breastfeeding: Is it safe?

    When spring arrives in many parts of the United States that means pollen allergies are in full swing. I am often asked if a mother who is breastfeeding can safely take allergy medicines. Pollen allergies are not only annoying but they can also be debilitating. The first step in allergy management is always avoidance of the substance causing the allergy. This is almost impossible with pollen allergies.

    The question about taking medication when breastfeeding should always be given careful consideration, there isnt one answer that fits all breastfeeding mothers. In general, breastfeeding mothers are well advised to take as few medications as possible. A mother who is being treated for several medical conditions, as well as allergies, should carefully review the benefits and risks of taking allergy medicine with their physician and pharmacist. This is especially true if the infant is premature or very young.

    The bottom line is that breastfeeding mothers who suffer with pollen allergies can safely be treated for those allergies and continue to breastfeed.

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    Which Medication Is Best For Me To Take

    Now that you know a little bit about all your options of medications that reduce allergy symptoms, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with your choices.

    It may be tempting to stick to the “L1 drugs” as they are rated as the safest options, but many parents need medications with higher lactation ratings to find relief. Or they may be unable to take an L1 or L2 drug due to medical concerns.

    It’s important to note that L3 medications aren’t necessarily more dangerous than L1 or L2 drugs, just that there’s not a lot of published information available. Drugs that have been better studied in breastfeeding parents tend to get dropped down in rating.

    The only person that can tell you which drug you should take is your care provider, and luckily now you have some information to navigate that conversation better.

    The specific details regarding each specific medication were gathered from Dr. Hales Medication and Mothers Milk .;

    Having allergies is not a reason to wean, and breastfeeding is not a reason to suffer.

    There are many options available, and hopefully, one will provide you with relief this allergy season.

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    Cough & Chest Congestion

    Benzocaine : Numbing Agent. Temporarily relieves pain associated with itching, sore throat. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies or case reports in breastfeeding women. Due to its low oral absorption after application, maternal blood concentrations are probably too low to produce any significant clinical effects in the breastfed infant. Benzocaine cough drops or lozenges are an excellent choice for cough relief in breastfeeding mothers. Common trade names: Cepacol.

    Menthol : Numbing Agent. Commonly used for topical analgesics and sore throat relief. Only minimal amounts of Menthol would be transferred into breast milk. Adverse effects to infants from breastfeeding are unlikely due to low relative dose and first-pass metabolism. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in breastfeeding women. Menthol cough drops, lozenges, and/or chest rub are an excellent choice for cough relief in breastfeeding mothers. Common trade names: Halls, Ricola, Ludens, Vicks

    Guaifenesin :; This is an expectorant used to loosen respiratory tract secretions.; It does not suppress coughing.; The poor efficacy of expectorants in general would suggest that they do not provide enough justification for use in breastfeeding mothers.; However, untoward effects to the infants have not been described. Common trade names: Robitussin, Mucinex

    Also Check: Can You Take Robitussin With Allergy Medicine

    Natural Remedy For Allergies While Nursing

    While you can take specific allergy medicine while nursing, you can always make use of natural remedies to relieve allergy symptoms. For instance:

    • Take plenty of rest when you have allergies.
    • Drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated all the time.
    • Take hot baths, inhale steam, and install a humidifier in your room to ease breathing.
    • Eat food rich in Vitamin C. You can take Vitamin C supplements as well.
    • Try Echinacea supplement to boost your immune system and help fighting off allergy symptoms.
    • Try taking cooked, raw garlic or garlic supplements for relief.
    • Alternatively, you can give homeopathic remedies a shot, which are generally safe for nursing mothers. Similarly, osteopathic manipulative treatment is quite an effective form of osteopathic manipulation that helps boost your immune system and drains fluids from the neck and head to prevent infections. This also proves beneficial against chronic respiratory and ear infections.

    Will Breastfeeding Give My Baby Allergy Symptoms

    What medications can I take while nursing?

    Allergies CANNOT be transmitted through breast milk, so you don’t have to worry about your baby catching allergy symptoms or developing an allergy to something you’re allergic to due to breastfeeding.;

    An allergic reaction is caused by a hyperstimulated immune response to something that normally is considered safe.

    Regardless of what your body may think, grass and ragweed won’t kill you; therefore, it shouldn’t create the reaction it does.;

    But when the substance you’re allergic to enters your body, it sends out a whole bunch of allergy- specific antibodies , which link up with mast cells to trap and remove the intruder.

    Unfortunately, the byproduct of this defense system is histamines, which causes the classic allergy symptoms.

    Why is this important?;

    Because your body is hypersensitive and because the symptoms are a result of its overdramatic response -can you say drama queen much?- there’s no concern of passing allergies to your baby.

    It’s possible that your baby, too, has an overreaction to benign substances, but the cause of that is most likely genetic and has nothing to do with breastfeeding.

    Of particular interest, breast milk may protect against the development of allergies, so if you needed a reason to continue nursing, there’s that.;;

    Read Also: Robitussin Allergy Cough Syrup

    Effects On Lactation And Breastmilk

    Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women. However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers. Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines have the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin have any consequences on breastfeeding success have not been studied. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

    Do I Have To Stop Breastfeeding If I Have Allergies

    No. You definitely can breastfeed while you have allergies, including if you have topical symptoms such as a rash or hives.;

    Sometimes telling the difference between a cold and allergies is a challenge because they share many of the same symptoms.;

    Rest assured, even if you have a cold or flu, you can still breastfeed while you’re symptomatic, and weaning is not necessary.;

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    Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Breastfeeding

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    Also asked, which allergy medicine is safe while breastfeeding?

    The ingredients of Claritin, Claritin-D, Clarinex, Allegra, Allegra-D, and Zyrtec are generally regarded to be compatible with breastfeeding . Loratadine has been studied and the amount of loratadine that passes into breastmilk is extremely low.

    One may also ask, does allergy medicine affect breast milk supply? Romm does have a word of warning when it comes to your milk supply: Any allergy or cold medication that contains pseudoephedrine is a big no-no for a breastfeeding mom. “Studies have shown that even one dose can decrease milk supply substantially,” Dr.

    One may also ask, does allergy medicine dry up breast milk?

    Claritin is one allergy medicine that has been studied during breastfeeding, and it’s shown to pass only marginally into breastmilk. Do note, however, that Claritin-D contains pseudoephedrine and can reduce milk supply. There are also decongestants that can be used during breastfeeding as well.

    Can you take antihistamines while breastfeeding?

    All antihistamines are considered safe to use during breastfeeding, as minimal amounts are excreted in the breast milk and would not cause any adverse effects on a breastfeeding infant.

    What Can You Take For Allergies While Breastfeeding

    Can You Take Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding?

    Antihistamines are the medication of choice for these symptoms and are considered safe for your baby and your milk supply. Zyrtec is the preferred antihistamine when breastfeeding. Other second-generation antihistamines are also considered safe, but do not have as much research to support their use.

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