Breastfeeding and prescription medications

Prescription medications and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers can safely use most prescribed medications.

Natural barriers in the cells that create breastmilk make it difficult for most medications to pass into your milk. Even for those medications that do enter breastmilk, most do so in amounts so low that there is no effect on the baby.

Before your doctor prescribes a medication for you, make sure he or she knows that you are breastfeeding. If your doctor is unsure whether or not you can breastfeed safely while taking a particular medication, ask that they check with drug information experts.

For current information about the use of medicines/drugs during breastfeeding (or pregnancy), contact the Medicines Information Centres in your state or the NPS Medicines Line. The numbers are listed below.

Most centres operate during normal business hours. If a call is urgent and outside these hours, ring the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (all states & territories).

Mothers LocationServiceTelephone (BH)
ACT

Medicines Information Centre
Canberra Hospital

02 6244 3333
NSWMotherSafe, Royal Hospital for Women
Randwick
02 9382 6539
1800 647 848
(NSW country)
QLDNPS Medicines Line1300 633 424
SAMedicines Information Centre
Women’s and Children’s Hospital
08 8161 7222
TAS

Medicines Information Centre
Royal Hobart Hospital (Mon-Thu)

NPS Medicines Line (Fri)

03 6222 8737


1300 633 424

VIC

Medicines Information Centre
Royal Women's Hospital

Medicines Information Centre
Monash Medical Centre

03 8345 3190


03 9594 2361

WAWomen & Newborn Health Services (KEMH)08 9340 2723
All states & territoriesNPS Medicines Line (9 am-5 pm AEST)1300 633 424

 Poisons Information is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week on 13 11 26 (all states & territories)

Further resources

  • Lactmed, a free online database with information on drugs and lactation aimed at health professional and the breastfeeding mother
  • Perinatology.com, a reference page with a number of links about drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Infant risk centre, a forum for questions from health professionals, but anyone can use the site as a guest

© Australian Breastfeeding Association Reviewed June 2013