Aspirin use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Aspirin: Ecotrin, Aggrenox, Excedrin, Bayer Aspirin, Butalbital Compound, Fiorinal, Aspir 81, Excedrin Migraine, Acetylsalicylic Acid, Ascriptin, Show all 191 »Aspir-Low, Bufferin, Percodan, Fasprin, Ecotrin Adult Low Strength, Anacin, Vanquish, Halfprin, Migraine Relief, Excedrin Extra Strength, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Bayer Aspirin Regimen, Buffered Aspirin, Bayer Children's Aspirin, Aspirin Buffered, Ascomp with Codeine, Arthritis Pain, Durlaza, Soma Compound, Aspirin Low Strength, Migraine Formula, Easprin, Goody's Extra-Strength Headache Powders, Empirin, Norgesic Forte, Carisoprodol Compound, Low Dose ASA, Aspergum, Robaxisal, Acuprin 81, Midol Traditional, Fiorinal with Codeine III, Pravigard Pac, Goody's Headache Powders, Bayer AM, Soma Compound with Codeine, BC, St. Joseph 81 mg Aspirin Enteric Safety-Coated, Aspirtab, Goody's Body Pain, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula Sparkling Original Effervescent Tablets, Bayer Back & Body, Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength, Bromo Seltzer, Endodan, Backaid Inflammatory Pain Formula, Idenal, Roxiprin, Exaprin, Fiortal, Adult Strength, Cope, Back & Body Extra Strength, Empirin with Codeine, Bayer PM, Effervescent Pain Relief, Azdone, Farbital, BC Headache, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula Orange Zest Effervescent Tablets, Anacin Max Strength, Minitabs, ZORprin, St. Joseph 81 mg Chewable Aspirin, Momentum, Extra Strength Bayer, Micrainin, Synalgos-DC, Bufferin Low Dose, Lortab ASA, Levacet, Painaid, Equagesic, Adalat XL Plus, Bayer Advanced Aspirin, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bufferin Arthritis Strength, Goody's Extra Strength, Bayer Migraine Formula, St. Joseph Aspirin, Norwich Aspirin, Arthriten, Migralex, Genace, Ascriptin Enteric, Excedrin Back & Body, Uricalm Intensive, Percodan-Demi, Orphengesic, Orphengesic Forte, BC Fast Pain Relief, PC-CAP, Darvon Compound-65, Ursinus, Darvon Compound 32, Propoxyphene Compound 65, Alka-Seltzer Plus Sinus Formula, Talwin Compound, Alor 5/500, Alka-Seltzer Original, Zee-Seltzer Antacid and Pain Reliever, Winco Foods Effervescent Antacid and Pain Relief, Vida Mia Pain Relief, Medique Medi-Seltzer, Alka-Seltzer Plus Day & Night Cold Formula (Night Cold), Alka-Seltzer PM, Alka-Seltzer Plus Day & Night Cold Formula (Day Cold), Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold Formula Effervescent Tablets, Picot Plus, Alka-Seltzer Lemon-Lime, Panasal 5/500, Damason-P, Emagrin, B C Powder Arthritis Strength, Stanback Fast Pain Relief, Bayer Women's Low Dose Plus Calcium, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula Cherry Burst Effervescent Tablets, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Formula Effervescent Tablets, Alka-Seltzer Plus Flu Formula (old formulation), B C Powder, YSP Aspirin, Bayer Aspirin with Heart Advantage, Aspi-Cor, Arthritis Foundation Pain Reliever, Ascriptin Maximum Strength, Aspir-Mox, Aspir-Mox IB, Medi-Seltzer, Sloprin, Ecotrin Maximum Strength, Entercote, Buffex, Bayer Aspirin Extra Strength Plus, Aspiritab, Magnaprin, Rhinocaps, Anacin Advanced Headache Formula, Arthriten Inflammatory Pain Formula, Supac, ConRx Pain Reliever, Excedrin Menstrual Complete, Pamprin Max Menstrual Pain Relief, PainAid Extra-Strength Formula, CVS Extra Strength Headache Relief, Excedrin PM Triple Action, Excedrin PM Headache, Saleto, Extra Pain Relief, Medique Pain-Off, Genacote, Gennin-FC, BC Arthritis, Bayer Extra Strength Back & Body, Fiortal with Codeine, Laniroif, Fiormor, Fortabs, Stanback, P-A-C Analgesic, Bayer Headache Relief, Blowfish for Hangovers, Alka-Seltzer Wake-Up Call!, Genasan, Aspircaf, Axotal, Buffasal, Bufferin Extra Strength, Therapy Bayer, Entaprin, Tri-Buffered Aspirin, Genprin, Litecoat Aspirin, Stanback Analgesic, Ecpirin, Aspirin Lite Coat, Heartline, Miniprin, Zero-Order Release, Bayer Women's Aspirin With Calcium, P-A-C
Aspirin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Aspirin is best avoided during breastfeeding; however, some expert opinion indicates that low-dose (75 to 162 mg daily) aspirin may be considered as an antiplatelet drug for use in breastfeeding women. If low-dose aspirin is taken, avoiding breastfeeding for 1 to 2 hours after a dose might minimize the risks of antiplatelet effects in the infant.
After aspirin ingestion, salicylic acid is excreted into breastmilk, with higher doses resulting in disproportionately higher milk levels. Long-term, high-dose maternal aspirin ingestion probably caused metabolic acidosis in one breastfed infant. Reye's syndrome is associated with aspirin administration to infants with viral infections, but the risk of Reye's syndrome from salicylate in breastmilk is unknown. An alternate drug is preferred over continuous high-dose, aspirin therapy.
Aspirin is rapidly metabolized to salicylate after ingestion, so most studies have measured salicylate levels in breastmilk after aspirin administration to the mother; however, some studies have not measured salicylate metabolites in breastmilk that may be hydrolyzed in the infant's gut and absorbed as salicylate.
Maternal Levels. A woman taking aspirin 4 grams daily for rheumatoid arthritis was nursing her 5 kg infant (age not reported). Salicylate was not detectable (< 50 mg/L) in breastmilk with the relative insensitive assay used.
Six nursing mothers who were 2 to 8 months postpartum (average 5 months) were given aspirin doses of 500, 1000 and 1500 mg of aspirin orally on 3 separate occasions. Peak breastmilk salicylate levels were 5.8 mg/L, 15.8 mg/L, and 38.8 mg/L, respectively. The time of the peak levels occurred between 2 and 6 hours after ingestion, with little variation in levels over time. The disproportionate increase in milk levels as the dose increased was attributed to nonlinear metabolism and protein binding.
Milk and blood levels of the salicylate metabolites of aspirin were determined in 8 lactating women following oral administration of 1 g of aspirin. Peak salicylic acid milk levels averaging 2.4 mg/L occurred 3 hours after the dose. Milk contents of salicyluric acid were greater than those of salicylic acid; a mean peak level of 10.2 mg/L was reached after 9 hours, and averaged 4.4 mg/L 24 hours after the dose. Total salicylate and metabolite levels were 5.1 mg/L at 3 hours, 9.9 mg/L at 6 hours, 11.2 mg/L at 9 hours and 10.2 mg/L at 12 hours after the dose. Acid labile conjugates were less than 0.2 mg/L. Using an average salicylate plus salicylurate level over the first 12 hours, a fully breastfed infant would receive an average of 9.4% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage.
Two women given aspirin 454 mg orally had peak salicylate milk levels of about 1 mg/L 1 hour after the dose. The authors estimated that about 0.1% of the mothers' total dose would appear in breastmilk in 48 hours. However, salicylate metabolites were not measured in milk.
A woman who was breastfeeding a 4-month-old was taking long-term aspirin therapy in dosages ranging from 2 to 5.9 g daily. During this therapy, milk was obtained 4 hours after a 650 mg dose and just before taking a dose of 975 mg. The trough milk salicylate level was 2 mg/L and a peak level of 10 mg/L occurred 3 hours after the dose. Salicylate levels ranged from 4 to 7 mg/L over the 5 hours after the peak. Using the peak level from this study, a fully breastfed infant would receive about 10% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage of salicylate. The assay method used should have measured both salicylate and metabolites in milk.
Infant Levels. A 9-week-old infant who was born at 36 weeks gestation was receiving about 50% breastmilk and 50% formula. The infant's mother was taking 2.4 g of aspirin daily and the infant's serum contained 65 mg/L of salicylate.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
A 16-day-old breastfed infant developed metabolic acidosis with a salicylate serum level of 240 mg/L and salicylate metabolites in the urine. The mother was taking 3.9 g/day of aspirin for arthritis, and salicylate in breastmilk probably caused the infant's illness, but the possibility of direct administration to the infant could not be ruled out.
Thrombocytopenia, fever, anorexia and petechiae occurred in a 5-month-old breastfed infant 5 days after her mother started taking aspirin for fever. One week after recovery, the infant was given a single dose of aspirin 125 mg and the platelet count dropped once again. The original symptoms were probably caused by salicylate in breastmilk.
Hemolysis after aspirin and phenacetin taken by the mother of a 23-day-old, G-6-PD-deficient infant was possibly due to aspirin in breastmilk.
In a telephone follow-up study, mothers reported no side effects among 15 infants exposed to aspirin (dose and infant age unspecified) in breastmilk.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Alternate Drugs to Consider
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2. Bates SM, Greer IA, Middeldorp S et al. VTE, thrombophilia, antithrombotic therapy, and pregnancy: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012;141 (2 Suppl):e691S-736S. PMID: 22315276
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4. Erickson SH , Oppenheim GL. Aspirin in breast milk. J Fam Pract. 1979;8:189-90. PMID: 759544
5. Jamali F, Keshavarz E. Salicylate excretion in breast milk. Int J Pharm. 1981;8:285-90.
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8. Bailey DN, Welbert RT, Naylor A. A study of salicylate and caffeine excretion in the breast milk of two nursing mothers. J Anal Toxicol. 1982;6:64-8. PMID: 7098450
9. Unsworth J, d'Assis-Fonseca A, Beswick DT. Serum salicylate levels in a breast fed infant. Ann Rheum Dis. 1987;46:638-9. PMID: 3662653
10. Clark JH, Wilson WG. A 16-day-old breast-fed infant with metabolic acidosis caused by salicylate. Clin Pediatr. 1981;20:53-4. PMID: 7214793
11. Terragna A, Spirito L. [Thrombocytopenic purpura in an infant after administration of acetylsalicylic acid to the wet-nurse]. Minerva Pediatr. 1967;19:613-6. PMID: 6069440
12. Harley JD, Robin H. "Late" neonatal jaundice in infants with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient erythrocytes. Aust Ann Med. 1962;11:148-55. PMID: 13960788
13. Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M, Eliopoulos C et al. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993;168:1393-9. PMID: 8498418
CAS Registry Number
Analgesic Agents, Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Agents, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
LactMed Record Number
Last Revision Date
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