Chronic Pain — 29 August 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

Most drugs are safe for mothers to take while breastfeeding their babies, according to a group of U.S. pediatricians, but women should still be cautious about breastfeeding if they use narcotic painkillers or anti-depressants.

The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics seeks to change many drug labels that have blanket statements warning women against taking any medication while pregnant or nursing.

“The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of exposure to most therapeutic agents via human milk,” said the report published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

“Many mothers are inappropriately advised to discontinue breastfeeding or avoid taking essential medications because of fears of adverse effects on their infants. This cautious approach may be unnecessary in many cases, because only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers or associated with adverse effects on their infants.”

The report suggests that doctors avoid prescribing opioid painkillers, such as codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone, to nursing mothers because opioids are known to cause health problems in breastfed infants. Medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen may be safer choices for pain relief, according to the report.

Read more at National Pain Report.


About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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