Kenneth F. Ilett, Judith H. Kristensen
Aust Prescr 1997;20:35-40
Assessing the safety of breast feeding during maternal drug therapy is an individualised risk:benefit analysis. An infant’s exposure depends on drug transfer into milk, daily milk intake and the bioavailability of the drug in the infant. Exposure and the potential for adverse effects is greatest in premature neonates and decreases over the first few months of life as the infant’s clearance mechanisms mature. Risk should be assessed in the light of the inherent toxicity of the drug and any published data on milk transfer and infant exposure. When maternal drug therapy is necessary, the breast-fed infant should be regularly assessed for adverse effects such as sedation, failure to thrive and achievement of developmental milestones.
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