Amphetamine use while Breastfeeding
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 25, 2022.
Drugs containing Amphetamine: Adderall, Adderall XR, Mydayis, Evekeo, Adzenys XR-ODT, Dyanavel XR, Adzenys ER, Evekeo ODT
Amphetamine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
In dosages prescribed for medical indications, some evidence indicates that amphetamine does not affect nursing infants adversely. The effect of amphetamine in milk on the neurological development of the infant has not been well studied. Large dosages of amphetamine might interfere with milk production, especially in women whose lactation is not well established. Breastfeeding is generally discouraged in mothers who are actively abusing amphetamines.[1-3] One expert recommends that amphetamine not be used therapeutically in nursing mothers.
Maternal Levels. A nursing woman was taking racemic amphetamine 5 mg orally 4 times daily at 10 am, noon, 2 pm and 4 pm for narcolepsy. Trough milk levels of 55 and 68 mcg/L were found before the 10 am dose on days 10 and 42 postpartum, respectively. Milk levels were 118 and 138 mcg/L before the 2 pm doses on days 10 and 42, respectively.
A woman took 35 mg of amphetamine daily for narcolepsy and exclusively breastfed her infant for 6 months. Breastmilk samples were taken just before her morning dose at 2, 5 and 9 weeks postpartum. Breastmilk levels of amphetamine were 74, 82 and 82 mcg/L, respectively. These values represent a weight-adjusted dosage of 1.9% to 2.1% of the maternal dosage and an absolute infant dosage of 11.1 to 12.4 mcg/kg daily.
Infant Levels. Amphetamine was measured in a 12-hour urine collection in a breastfed infant whose mother was taking racemic amphetamine 5 mg 4 times daily. The infant's urinary excretion of amphetamine ranged from 0.1 to 0.3% of the mother's urinary excretion.
The infant of a mother who was taking amphetamine 35 mg daily for narcolepsy during pregnancy and postpartum was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Infant blood samples were taken just before the mother's morning amphetamine dose at 2, 5 and 9 weeks postpartum. Infant serum concentrations at these times were 3.1, 2 and 1.4 mcg/L, respectively. These values represented 15%, 7% and 5% of simultaneous maternal serum concentrations.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
One infant whose mother was being treated for narcolepsy with racemic amphetamine 5 mg 4 times daily was exposed to the drug in milk for the (unspecified) duration of breastfeeding. There were no signs of abnormal development during the first 2 years of life.
The infant of a mother who was taking amphetamine 35 mg daily for narcolepsy during pregnancy and postpartum was exclusively breastfed for 6 months. The infant experienced no adverse reactions and grew normally.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
In 2 papers by the same authors, 20 women with normal physiologic hyperprolactinemia were studied on days 2 or 3 postpartum. Eight received dextroamphetamine 7.5 mg intravenously, 6 received 15 mg intravenously and 6 who served as controls received intravenous saline. The 7.5 mg dose reduced serum prolactin by 25 to 32% compared to control, but the difference was not statistically significant. The 15 mg dose significantly decreased serum prolactin by 30 to 37% at times after the infusion. No assessment of milk production was presented.[7,8] The authors also quoted data from another study showing that a 20 mg oral dose of dextroamphetamine produced a sustained suppression of serum prolactin by 40% in postpartum women. The maternal prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.
In a retrospective Australian study, mothers who used intravenous amphetamines during pregnancy were less likely to be breastfeeding their newborn infants at discharge than mothers who abused other drugs (27% vs 42%). The cause of this difference was not determined.
A mother took amphetamine 35 mg daily for narcolepsy during pregnancy and postpartum. She exclusively breastfed her infant for 6 months with no evidence of an adverse effect on milk production.
Oei JL, Kingsbury A, Dhawan A, et al. Amphetamines, the pregnant woman and her children: A review. J Perinatol. 2012;32:737–47. [PubMed: 22652562]
AAP Section on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129:e827–41. [PubMed: 22371471]
Wong S, Ordean A, Kahan M. SOGC clinical practice guidelines: Substance use in pregnancy: No. 256, April 2011. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011;114:190–202. [PubMed: 21870360]
Ornoy A. Pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during pregnancy and lactation. Pharm Res. 2018;35:46. [PubMed: 29411149]
Steiner E, Villen T, Hallberg M, et al. Amphetamine secretion in breast milk. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1984;27:123–4. [PubMed: 6489423]
Öhman I, Wikner BN, Beck O, et al. Narcolepsy treated with racemic amphetamine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 2015;31:374–6. [PubMed: 25948577]
DeLeo V, Cella SG, Camanni F, et al. Prolactin lowering effect of amphetamine in normoprolactinemic subjects and in physiological and pathological hyperprolactinemia. Horm Metab Res. 1983;15:439–43. [PubMed: 6642414]
Petraglia F, De Leo V, Sardelli S, et al. Prolactin changes after administration of agonist and antagonist dopaminergic drugs in puerperal women. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1987;23:103–9. [PubMed: 3583091]
Oei J, Abdel-Latif ME, Clark R, et al. Short-term outcomes of mothers and infants exposed to antenatal amphetamines. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2010;95:F36–F41. [PubMed: 19679891]
CAS Registry Number
Central Nervous System Stimulants
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