Skip to Content

Docetaxel use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Docetaxel: Taxotere, Docefrez

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 26, 2020.

Docetaxel Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Most sources consider breastfeeding to be contraindicated during maternal antineoplastic drug therapy.[1] No information is available on the clinical use of docetaxel during breastfeeding. It has been suggested that breastfeeding should be discontinued for 4 to 5 days after a dose,[2] although the manufacturer recommends that breastfeeding be discontinued for 1 week. Chemotherapy may adversely affect the normal microbiome and chemical makeup of breastmilk.[3] Women who receive chemotherapy during pregnancy are more likely to have difficulty nursing their infant.[4]

Drug Levels

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

A telephone follow-up study was conducted on 74 women who received cancer chemotherapy at one center during the second or third trimester of pregnancy to determine if they were successful at breastfeeding postpartum. Only 34% of the women were able to exclusively breastfeed their infants, and 66% of the women reported experiencing breastfeeding difficulties. This was in comparison to a 91% breastfeeding success rate in 22 other mothers diagnosed during pregnancy, but not treated with chemotherapy. Other statistically significant correlations included: (1) mothers with breastfeeding difficulties had an average of 5.5 cycles of chemotherapy compared with 3.8 cycles among mothers who had no difficulties; and (2) mothers with breastfeeding difficulties received their first cycle of chemotherapy on average 3.4 weeks earlier in pregnancy. Of the 9 women who received a taxane-containing regimen, 7 had breastfeeding difficulties.[3]

References

1.
Pistilli B, Bellettini G, Giovannetti E, et al. Chemotherapy, targeted agents, antiemetics and growth-factors in human milk: How should we counsel cancer patients about breastfeeding? Cancer Treat Rev. 2013;39:207–11. [PubMed: 23199900]
2.
Johnson HM, Mitchell KB. ABM clinical protocol #34: Breast cancer and breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2020;15:429–34. [PubMed: 32516007]
3.
Urbaniak C, McMillan A, Angelini M, et al. Effect of chemotherapy on the microbiota and metabolome of human milk, a case report. Microbiome. 2014;2:24. [PMC free article: PMC4109383] [PubMed: 25061513]
4.
Stopenski S, Aslam A, Zhang X, et al. After chemotherapy treatment for maternal cancer during pregnancy, is breastfeeding possible? Breastfeed Med. 2017;12:91–7. [PubMed: 28170295]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Docetaxel

CAS Registry Number

148408-66-6

Drug Class

Breast Feeding

Lactation

Antineoplastic 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.