Use of anti-infective agents during lactation: Part 1--Beta-lactam antibiotics, vancomycin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and linezolid

J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):351-8. doi: 10.1177/089033440001600413.


Because many antibiotics are excreted into the breast milk, it can be difficult for a practitioner to choose an antibiotic for a lactating patient that will have minimal risks to her nursing infant. This article is the first of a three-part series discussing the use of anti-infective agents during lactation. The authors review general information regarding use and common side effects of several classes of antibiotics. They also summarize information, including documented milk concentrations, milk-to-plasma ratios, and other pharmacokinetic properties, in a table that can help practitioners choose antibiotics that may be considered safe for the lactating mother.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Linezolid
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Mothers / education
  • Oxazolidinones / pharmacokinetics
  • Vancomycin / pharmacokinetics
  • Virginiamycin / pharmacokinetics
  • beta-Lactams


  • Acetamides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oxazolidinones
  • beta-Lactams
  • Virginiamycin
  • quinupristin-dalfopristin
  • Vancomycin
  • Linezolid