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Interferon Gamma-1b use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 30, 2022.

Drugs containing Interferon Gamma-1b: Actimmune

Interferon Gamma-1b Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Interferon gamma is a normal component of human milk. No data are available on the use of exogenous interferon gamma 1b during breastfeeding. However, the amounts of the similar drugs, interferon alfa and interferon beta-1a, excreted into milk are very low. Any interferon in breastmilk is probably destroyed in the infant's gastrointestinal tract and not absorbed, except perhaps in neonates. Holder pasteurization (62.5 degrees C for 30 minutes) decreases the concentration of endogenous interferon-gamma by an average about 10%.[1]

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Measurements of the colostrum 6 mothers of preterm infants found an average of 2 ng/L of interferon gamma; two mothers of fullterm infants had an average of 2.2 ng/L. At over 30 days postpartum, milk of 3 mothers of preterm infants contained 2.6 ng/L of interferon gamma; the milk of 28 mothers of fullterm infants contained an average of 0.7 ng/L.[2]

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.


Ewaschuk JB, Unger S, O'Connor DL et al. Effect of pasteurization on selected immune components of donated human breast milk. J Perinatol. 2011;31:593-8. [PubMed: 21330996]
Srivastava MD, Srivastava A, Brouhard B et al. Cytokines in human milk. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 1996;93:263-87. [PubMed: 8896040]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Interferon Gamma-1b

CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Lactation
  • Immunologic Adjuvants

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Further information

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