Ibuprofen use while Breastfeeding

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Ibuprofen Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Because of its extremely low levels in breastmilk, short half-life and use in infants in doses much higher than those excreted in breastmilk, ibuprofen is a preferred choice as an analgesic or antiinflammatory agent in nursing mothers.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Two early studies attempted measurement of ibuprofen in milk. In one, the patient's dose was 400 mg twice daily, while in the second study of 12 patients, the dose was 400 mg every 6 hours. Ibuprofen was undetectable in breastmilk in both studies (<0.5 and 1 mg/L, respectively).[1][2]

A later study using a more sensitive assay found ibuprofen in the breastmilk of one woman who took 6 doses of 400 mg orally over a 42.5 hours. A milk ibuprofen level of 13 mcg/L was detected 30 minutes after the first dose. The highest level measured was 180 mcg/L about 4 hours after the third dose, 20.5 hours after the first dose. The authors estimated that the infant would receive about 17 mcg/kg daily (100 mcg daily) with the maternal dose of approximately 1.2 grams daily. This dose represents 0.0008% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage[3] and 0.06% of the commonly accepted infant dose of 30 mg/kg daily (10 mg/kg every 8 hours).

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

At least 23 cases are reported in the literature in which infants (ages not stated) were breastfed during maternal ibuprofen use with no adverse effects reported.[1][3][4]

Possible Effects on Lactation

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Acetaminophen, Flurbiprofen, Indomethacin, Naproxen, Piroxicam

References

1. Weibert RT, Townsend RJ, Kaiser DG et al. Lack of ibuprofen secretion into human milk. Clin Pharm. 1982;1:457-8. PMID: 7184678

2. Townsend RJ, Benedetti TJ, Erickson SH et al. Excretion of ibuprofen into breast milk. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984;149:184-6. PMID: 6720796

3. Walter K, Dilger C. Ibuprofen in human milk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1997;44:211-2. PMID: 9278216

4. Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993;168:1393-9. PMID: 8498418

Ibuprofen Identification

Substance Name

Ibuprofen

CAS Registry Number

15687-27-1

Drug Class

  • Analgesic Agents
  • Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Agents

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number

142

Information from the National Library of Medicine's LactMed Database.

Last Revision Date

2013-09-07

Disclaimer

Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

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