Testosterone use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Testosterone: AndroGel, Axiron, Testim, Depo-Testosterone, Fortesta, Androderm, Testopel, Testopel Pellets, Delatestryl, Striant, Show all 40 »Testoderm, Bio-T-Gel, Histerone, FIRST-Testosterone MC, Depo-Testadiol, Depandro 100, Andro LA 200, Testamone-100, Meditest, Duratest, Depotest, Testolin, Andro-Cyp 100, Everone, Delatest, Andro-Cyp 200, Durathate 200, FIRST-Testosterone, Testro-LA, Testro, Virilon IM, Testro AQ, Duratestrin, Delatestadiol, Dep Androgyn, Estra-Testrin, Valertest No 1, Dura-Dumone, Duo-Cyp, Depotestogen
Testosterone Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Limited data indicate that a low-dose (100 mg) subcutaneous testosterone pellet given to a nursing mother appears not to increase milk testosterone levels markedly. Testosterone has low oral bioavailability because of extensive first-pass metabolism, so it is unlikely to affect the breastfed infant. One breastfed infant seemed not to be adversely affected by low-dose maternal testosterone therapy.
Maternal Levels. A woman received testosterone for depressive symptoms sublingually (drops, dose unspecified), vaginally (cream, dose unspecified), and subcutaneously (pellet, 100 mg). Foremilk samples were obtained at various times over the first 24 hours after administration of the sublingual and vaginal administration and on days 2, 3 and 7 after the implanting of the testosterone pellet. The highest milk level recorded following the pellet implantation was 101 ng/L on day 7. Testosterone levels in breastmilk were not increased above baseline with any of these preparations.
Infant Levels. After implantation of a 100 mg pellet of testosterone subcutaneously in a postpartum woman, serum levels of testosterone in her breastfed infant (extent and age not stated) were <100 mcg/L on days 2, 3 and 7, and at 5 months after the implanting of the testosterone pellet.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
An infant (age not stated) was breastfed (extent not stated) after implantation of 100 mg of testosterone subcutaneously. No adverse effects were noted in the infant over a 5-month period.
Possible Effects on Lactation
Supraphysiologic serum levels of testosterone, either from a tumor or from exogenously administered testosterone, reduces milk production in postpartum women. Testosterone alone reduces serum prolactin; however, when given in combination with estrogen and progestin, serum prolactin levels are not markedly reduced. Testosterone was previously used therapeutically to suppress lactation, usually in combination with an estrogen.
1. Glaser RL, Newman M, Parsons M et al. Safety of maternal testosterone therapy during breast feeding. Int J Pharm Compound. 2009;13:314-7.
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8. McNicol E, Struthers JO. A combined/oestrogen/progestogen/testosterone agent for the inhibition of lactation. Br J Clin Pract. 1972;26:567-8. PMID: 4567863
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