Skip to main content

Cefotetan use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 2, 2023.

Drugs containing Cefotetan: Cefotan

Cefotetan Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Cefotetan is no longer marketed in the United States. Amoderate amount of information indicates that cefotetan produces low levels in milk that are not expected to cause adverse effects in breastfed infants. Occasionally disruption of the infant's gastrointestinal flora, resulting in diarrhea or thrush have been reported with cephalosporins, but these effects have not been adequately evaluated. Cefotetan is acceptable in nursing mothers.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. After a single 1 gram dose of cefotetan to 7 women, the drug was not detected (<0.195 mg/L) in milk in 2 women at any time up to 6 hours after the dose. In the remaining 5 women, average milk levels ranged from 0.22 to 0.34 mg/L from 1 to 6 hours after the dose. The average peak level was 0.34 mg/L 4 hours after the dose, although individual peak levels ranged from 0.25 to 0.5 mg/L at 3 to 4 hours after the dose.[1]

Five women were given 1 gram of cefotetan every 12 hours intramuscularly for 2 days. Milk cefotetan levels were undetectable 1 hour after the first dose. From 4 to 10 hours, milk levels ranged from 0.3 to 0.59 mg/L, with the peak occurring 7 hours after the dose. Ten hours after the second, third and fifth doses, milk levels ranged from 0.29 to 0.37 mg/L.[2]

After a single 1 gram dose of cefotetan in 2 women, average cefotetan concentrations of 0.1 and 0.2 mg/L occurred at 2 and 4 hours after the dose, respectively. It was undetectable at 1 and 6 hours after the dose.[3]

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

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

Alternate Drugs to Consider



Cho N, Fukunaga K, Kuni K. Fundamental and clinical studies on cefotetan (YM09330) in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Chemotherapy (Tokyo) 1982;30 (Suppl 1):832-42.
Novelli A, Mazzei T, Ciuffi M, et al. The penetration of intramuscular cefotetan disodium into human extra-vascular fluid and maternal milk secretion. Chemotherapy 1983;2:337-42.
Matsuda S. Transfer of antibiotics into maternal milk. Biol Res Pregnancy Perinatol 1984;5:57-60. [PubMed: 6743732]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding


Milk, Human

Anti-Infective Agents

Antibacterial Agents


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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.