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Drugs during Lactation

Medication use in lactation: evaluating safety concerns - Motherhood India Hospital

Lactation is the process of milk production in humans. It is a hormonally driven process that demands medications. In cases where the mother isn't able to produce milk, induced lactation is brought into use. Here's a short insight into the drugs used during the lactation period. 

Navigating Medication Use While Lactating: A Guide for Breastfeeding Mothers

The American Academy of Pediatrics highlights that the drugs used during lactation could have many side effects on the baby, many of which are still not known. Thus, the academy recommends that medications must be taken when needed and one must try to cut the long-term use of drugs during lactation. 

Here are a few insights that'll help you understand how the drug consumed during lactation works. 

It has been found that the pH of mother's milk is slightly higher and thus more acidic than plasma. Thus, the weakly basic drugs can easily be transferred to the mother's milk through passive diffusion which is the primary pathway through which the drug enters breast milk. Ionization of such drugs could leave them trapped in the milk itself. 

Lactation and Drugs: Balancing Your Health and Your Baby's Needs

The risk of a drug to a breastfed infant is largely dependent on the concentration in the infant's blood and the effects of the drug on the infant. Feeding immediately before a dose may help minimize infant exposure as concentrations in milk are likely to be lowest towards the end of a dosing interval. 

It has been found that premature babies and neonates have a lower capacity to metabolize and excrete drugs while the babies who have been exposed to the same in the uterus before delivery will augment the existing drug concentration on further exposure via breast milk. 

Safe Medications to Take During Lactation

It is recommended that drugs must be used in the lowest effective dose. Breastfeeding alternatives can be used in cases when high doses are consumed. Studies have found that drugs with relatively short half-lives minimize drug exposure in the milk while social drugs must be avoided at any cost.

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