Prednisolone excretion in human milk

J Pediatr. 1985 Jun;106(6):1008-11. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(85)80259-6.


Six lactating women receiving long-term treatment with prednisolone in doses from 10 to 80 mg/day were studied. Serum and milk samples were assayed for prednisolone and endogenous cortisol by a specific high-performance liquid chromatographic method. The milk and serum concentrations vs time curves for prednisolone were virtually parallel, and the milk concentrations were 5% to 25% of those in serum. The milk/serum concentration ratio increased with increasing serum concentration. At a daily dose of 80 mg prednisolone, the infant would ingest less than 0.1% of that dose; this corresponds to less than 10% of the infant's endogenous cortisol production. Because there is an equilibrium between the concentration of prednisolone in milk and serum, the exposure of the infant is minimized if breast-feeding is avoided during the first 4 hours after the dose. We conclude that from a quantitative point of view the exposure of the infant is minimal, and breast-feeding may be permitted at maternal prednisolone doses of at least 20 mg once or twice daily. At higher doses, exposure may be minimized if nursing is performed greater than 4 hours after the dose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Prednisolone / blood
  • Prednisolone / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Prednisolone