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Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed on April 2, 2018.

Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Information in this record refers to the intravenous use of technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid as a diagnostic agent. The International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends that breastfeeding need not be interrupted after administration technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid.[1] However, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommends that breastfeeding should be interrupted for 6 hours after administration of technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid in a dose of 370 MBq (12 mCi) to a nursing mother.[2] The mother can nurse the infant just before administration of the radiopharmaceutical. During the period of interruption, the breasts should be emptied regularly and completely. If the mother has expressed and saved milk prior to the examination, she can feed it to the infant during the period of nursing interruption.[3][4][5] The milk that is pumped by the mother during the time of breastfeeding interruption can either be discarded or stored refrigerated and given to the infant after 10 physical half-lives, or about 60 hours, have elapsed. Mothers need not refrain from close contact with their infants after usual clinical doses;[6] but following injection doses greater than 370 MBq (10 mCi), patients should minimize close contact with infants for 6 hours.[7]

Mothers concerned about the level of radioactivity in their milk could ask to have it tested at a nuclear medicine facility at their hospital. When the radioactivity is at a safe level she may resume breastfeeding. A method for measuring milk radioactivity and determining the time when a mother can safely resume breastfeeding has been published.[8]

For nursing mothers who work with Tc 99m substances in their workplace, there is no need to take any precautions other than those appropriate for general radiation protection.[9]

Drug Levels

Tc 99m is a gamma emitter with a principal photon energy of 140.5 keV and a physical half-life of 6.024 hours.[2] The effective half-life of technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid averages 5.1 hours after intravenous administration.[8]

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.

References

1. Mattsson S, Johansson L, Leide Svegborn S et al. Radiation dose to patients from radiopharmaceuticals: A compendium of current information related to frequently used substances. Annex D. Recommendations on breast-feeding interruptions. Ann ICRP. 2015;44 (2 Suppl):319-21. PMID: 26069086

2. Howe DB, Beardsley M, Bakhsh S. Appendix U. Model procedure for release of patients or human research subjects administered radioactive materials. In, NUREG-1556. Consolidated guidance about materials licenses. Program-specific guidance about medical use licenses. Final report. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. 2008;9, Rev. 2. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1556/v9/r2/

3. Mountford PJ, Coakley AJ. A review of the secretion of radioactivity in human breast milk: data, quantitative analysis and recommendations. Nucl Med Commun. 1989;10:15-27. PMID: 2645546

4. Early PJ, Sodee DB. Principles and practice of nuclear medicine. 2nd ed. St. Louis. Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 1995:1380-1.

5. Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee. Notes for guidance on the clinical administration of radiopharmaceuticals and use of sealed radioactive sources. 2006;25-7. http://www.arsac.org.uk

6. Mountford PJ, O'Doherty MJ. Exposure of critical groups to nuclear medicine patients. Appl Radiat Isot. 1999;50:89-111. PMID: 10028630

7. Pharmalucence Inc. Kit for the preparation of technetium Tc99m sulfur colloid. 2014. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=eeaf70fd-46bd-4fec-ba9d-2366fdf07888

8. Stabin MG, Breitz HB. Breast milk excretion of radiopharmaceuticals: mechanisms, findings, and radiation dosimetry. J Nucl Med. 2000;41:863-73. PMID: 10809203

9. Almen A, Mattsson S. Radiological protection of foetuses and breast-fed children of occupationally exposed women in nuclear medicine - Challenges for hospitals. Phys Med. 2017;43:172-7. PMID: 28882410

Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid Identification

Substance Name

Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid

Drug Class

Radiopharmaceuticals

Technetium Compounds

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number

689

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

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