11 Dangerous Medicines to Avoid While Breastfeeding


Aspirin, Codeine, Decongestants, Chloramphenicol, Amiodarone, Statins, Cocaine, Antineoplastic agents, Radioactive Iodine, Amantadine and Metamizole are some of the dangerous medicines to avoid while breastfeeding.

Being a mother is the most important phase of every woman’s life. New mom’s, not only need to take good care of their baby but also need to keep a check on their own well-being when breastfeeding. But you certainly cannot reach out to your medicine cabinet when you are suffering from a cold or a fever. There are a number of medicines that you need to avoid as they can harm your newborn baby.

Medicines to Avoid While Breastfeeding

medicines to avoid while breastfeeding


Aspirin is one of those medicines that have to be avoided when you are breastfeeding. If you have to take aspirin or have taken it by mistake, you need to avoid breastfeeding for at least 1 or 2 hours. This helps minimize the antiplatelet effects. Breastfeeding after taking aspirin can lead to vomiting, irritability, and drowsiness.


Codeine is a painkiller drug that is often found as a combination in a number of over the counter medications. This drug can cause a number of breathing problems in kids, most of which can be life-threatening. This drug should not be taken by anyone less than 12 years. As this can pass onto the babies via the mother’s milk. It is good to avoid this when breastfeeding.


Decongestants can prove to be quite harmful if not taken in the right dosage. It is said that about 10% of the nasal decongestant spray gets absorbed into the mother’s bloodstream but it’s much higher when it comes to an oral medication. As a part of medication does reach the baby via the mother’s milk, it can cause sleeplessness or tachycardia. Some of these drugs can also reduce the production of milk.



This drug can cause very severe reactions like vomiting and intestinal gas. It is also said that some of the babies also fall asleep when having their feed as the mother has taken a dose of chloramphenicol. Doctors do suggest taking an alternative medication. But if you have taken chloramphenicol, discontinuing breastfeeding is considered to be better.


Amiodarone is a drug that is used in the treatment of heart problems. It can also pass via the breast milk and can cause health issues in a nursing infant. Infants can develop conditions like under-active thyroid due to the amount of iodine present in it. So, it is recommended that women who have taken this drug need to stay away from breastfeeding as it can stay in the body for many months even when the medication is stopped.


These are the drugs that are given to lower the cholesterol levels in the blood. Such drugs are not recommended for women who are nursing. Cholesterol is quite important for babies as it plays a vital role in their brain development. So, when the nursing mother takes this medication, the cholesterol content in the mother’s milk reduces. Such drugs should thus be avoided when breastfeeding. If you still need to take the same, it is better to talk to your doctor about alternatives.


Cocaine can easily get transferred to the breast milk. Mothers who use cocaine need to know that the drug’s concentration is more in the milk than in their blood. So, when you are nursing the baby, you are feeding him/her with milk that contains cocaine. This can prove to be fatal for the infant’s health. Some of the effects of this on the baby can cause changes in the mood, crying in high pitch, vomiting, hypertension and very hyperactive reflexes.

Antineoplastic agents

These are the drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer. These are not safe to be taken by breastfeeding mothers and women who need to take these should never breastfeed. It can cause the decrease in the number of neutrophils in the baby’s bloodstream and this can cause Neutropenia. This condition can reduce the baby’s ability to fight infections.

Radioactive Iodine

This is often used to treat hyperthyroidism. This too passes to the baby via the mother’s breast milk and can easily expose the newborn to radiation. Mothers who are taking radioactive iodine need to stop nursing the baby. Such women also need to avoid any kind of close contact with the baby right after the treatment.



This is a drug that is used to treat flu. This can cause health issues in the baby and can also reduce the supply of milk.


Metamizole is an anti-inflammatory drug that is often used to reduce pain. This should not be used by breastfeeding moms as it can pass on to the baby via milk and cause harm.

The above are the medications you must avoid when you are breastfeeding. It always helps to have a word with your doctor before you start any.

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women and Healthy Babies!!