Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications

J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):319-31. doi: 10.1177/089033440001600408.


A breastfeeding mother is confronted with a wide variety of over-the-counter products, necessitating careful guidance from her health care professional. This article presents a discussion and comprehensive tables that cover, by category, over-the-counter medications that nursing mothers may need to take. These tables should greatly assist the health care professional in the important task of counseling the nursing mother about the proper use of over-the-counter medications. This information will enable health care professionals to interpret information on the topic of over-the-counter medications and breastfeeding; list medications, in specific over-the-counter categories, that are usually safe to take while breastfeeding; recommend over-the-counter medications of choice for a breastfeeding mother; and generally counsel a breastfeeding mother who is taking or expects to take over-the-counter medications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Milk, Human / drug effects*
  • Mothers / education
  • Nonprescription Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Nonprescription Drugs / pharmacokinetics*


  • Nonprescription Drugs