Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II. Lactation

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Mar;70(3):417.e1-10; quiz 427. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2013.09.009.


Dermatologists are frequently faced with questions from women who are breastfeeding about the safety of commonly prescribed topical and systemic medications during lactation. Safety data in lactation, particularly regarding medications that are unique to dermatology, are limited and can be difficult to locate. We have consolidated the available safety data in a single reference guide for clinicians. We review literature pertaining to the safety of common dermatologic therapies in lactation and offer recommendations based on the available evidence.

Keywords: acne; antibiotic; antifungal; antihistamines; antiviral; atopic dermatitis; biologics; breast milk; breastfeeding; corticosteroid; cosmetics; eczema; lactation; medication safety; nursing; phototherapy; psoriasis; surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • United States


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations