MEDICATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT LACTATION
Listed below are medications that may impact and inhibit lactation. If you are taking any of these medications, seek advice from your provider on whether you should continue or not. The goal of this page is to educate parents on what medications will specifically impact lactation. This is in no way an attempt to stop someone from taking any prescribed medications listed below. Speak to your health provider first before discontinuing any medication.
Progestins are typically prescribed to properly regulate the menstrual cycle and usually stop menstrual periods. They work by causing changes within the uterus.
Progestins can inhibit lactation because Progesterone is produced by the placenta and when Progesterone is still in the body, local effects take place and prevent milk secretion during pregnancy.
Oestrogens help to regulate the menstrual cycle. Some areas of the body in which it affects include the reproductive tract, urinary tract, breasts, skin, pelvic muscles and brain.
Oestrogens, also known as Estrogen treatment, has been linked to reduced milk supply and early cessation of breastfeeding even after milk supply is well established. Not all mothers who take contraceptives containing estrogen experience lower milk supply, but many do.
Ethanol, also known as alcohol is a chemical substance found in drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor.
Alcohol (ethanol) decreases milk production, with the consumption of five drinks or more decreasing milk letdown and disrupting nursing until maternal alcohol levels decrease.
Bromocriptine is in a class of medications called dopamine receptor agonists. It is used to treat certain menstrual problems such as amenorrhea and is used to treat surpluses of prolactin within the body.
Prolactin is the hormone released in the body to stimulate milk production after childbirth. Bromocriptine is a drug used to prevent the secretion of prolactin in the body, thereby preventing and suppressing milk production
Cabergoline is used to treat different types of medical problems that occur when too much of the hormone prolactin is produced. It is used to treat certain menstrual or fertility problems.
It will impact and inhibit lactation by decreasing levels of prolactin (milk producing hormone) in the body, which overall suppress milk production.
Pseudoephedrine is a nasal decongestant used to relieve nasal congestion that is caused by colds, allergies, and hay fever. It also relieves sinus pressure caused by congestion.
A single dose of Pseudoephedrine significantly reduced milk production due to the depression of prolactin secretion, ultimately decreasing milk production.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is important to male sexual development and functions. High doses of testosterone can suppress lactation due to the suppressing of milk production.
Anti-estrogens are a group of drugs that prohibits cells from making or using estrogen, which is a hormone that plays a major role in female sex characteristics.
Estrogen, along with progesterone, cause a lactating parent's milk ducts to grow in number and size. Without estrogen, this can’t happen as well as it should, which in turn decreases milk production.
Clomiphene is used to induce ovulation (egg production) in women who do not produce eggs but wish to become pregnant (infertility).
Clomiphene lowers serum prolactin levels, ultimately suppressing and impacting lactation in breastfeeding parents.