Which drugs are contraindicated during breastfeeding? Practice guidelines

Can Fam Physician. 2000 Sep:46:1753-7.


Question: Many breastfeeding mothers are concerned about taking medications that might affect their babies. Are there any guidelines on which drugs are safe?

Answer: Only a few drugs pose a clinically significant risk to breastfed babies. In general, antineoplastics, drugs of abuse, some anticonvulsants, ergot alkaloids, and radiopharmaceuticals should not be taken, and levels of amiodarone, cyclosporine, and lithium should be monitored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Contraindications
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Ergotamine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ergotamine