Belladonna use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Belladonna: Bellergal-S, Bellaspas, Bellamine S, Bellaphen-S, Bellamine, Bellamor, Bel-Tabs, Bel-Phen-Ergot, Belcomp-PB, Spastrin, Show all 22 »Duragal-S, B & O Supprettes, Eperbel-S, Cafatine PB, Micomp-PB, E-Caff P-B, Migracet-PB, ErgocaffPB, Belladonna Tincture, Ergocomp-PB, Butibel, Ergocaf-PB
Belladonna Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) contains anticholinergic alkaloids such as atropine and scopolamine. Belladonna has been used in the past for headache, airway obstruction, and irritable bowel syndrome among others, but its use has been supplanted by more specific and less toxic compounds. Long-term use of belladonna might reduce milk production by reducing serum prolactin. Application of belladonna paste to the nipple to reduce milk secretion during lactation is an extremely old use. However, it is still used this way in rural India for treating breast abscesses and may have contributed to cases of breast gangrene. Because of the narrow therapeutic index and variable potency of plant-based (i.e., nonstandardized) belladonna, it should be avoided orally and topically during lactation. Homeopathic products are not likely to interfere with breastfeeding or cause toxicity.
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Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Specific published information in nursing mothers was not found as of the revision date. Anticholinergics can inhibit lactation in animals, apparently by inhibiting growth hormone and oxytocin secretion. Anticholinergic drugs can also reduce serum prolactin in nonnursing women. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.
1. Masala A, Alagna S, Devilla L et al. Muscarinic receptor blockade by pirenzepine: effect on prolactin secretion in man. J Endocrinol Invest. 1982;5:53-5. PMID: 6808052
2. Hughes R. Cases illustrative of the influence of belladonna. Br Med J. 1860;s4-1 (193):706-7. PMC: PMC2252955
3. Wani I, Bakshi I, Parray FQ, Malik AA, Wani RA, Shah M et al. Breast gangrene. World J Emerg Surg. 2011;6:29. PMID: 21854557
4. Aaron DK, Ely DG, Deweese WP et al. Reducing milk production in ewes at weaning using restricted feeding and methscopolamine bromide. J Anim Sci. 1997;75:1434-42. PMID: 9250502
5. Powell MR, Keisler DH. A potential strategy for decreasing milk production in the ewe at weaning using a growth hormone release blocker. J Anim Sci. 1995;73:1901-5. PMID: 7592071
6. Daniel JA, Thomas MG, Powell MR, Keisler DH. Methscopolamine bromide blocks hypothalmic-stimulated release of growth hormone in ewes. J Anim Sci. 1997;75:1359-62. PMID: 9159285
7. Bizzarro A, Iannucci F, Tolino A et al. Inhibiting effect of atropine on prolactin blood levels after stimulation with TRH. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1980;7:108-11. PMID: 6788407
8. Svennersten K, Nelson L, Juvnas-Moberg K. Atropinization decreases oxytocin secretion in dairy cows. Acta Physiol Scand. 1992;145:193-4. PMID: 1636447
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- Drug class: anticholinergics/antispasmodics
Other brands: Belladonna Tincture