Skip to main content

Vancomycin use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 6, 2023.

Drugs containing Vancomycin: Vancocin, Firvanq, Vancocin HCl, Lyphocin, Vancocin HCl Pulvules

Vancomycin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Limited information indicates that vancomycin produces low levels in milk and because vancomycin is poorly absorbed orally, it is not likely to reach the bloodstream of the infant or cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. No special precautions are required.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. A single colostrum vancomycin level of 12.7 mg/L was found 4 hours after the end of the infusion of vancomycin 1 gram intravenously given every 12 hours in one woman. Her colostrum was obtained after delivery at a gestational age of about 35 to 38 weeks.[1] Assuming that the colostrum level is a peak level, an exclusively breastfed infant would receive a maximum of 1.9 mg/kg daily by mouth in breastmilk. The amount in mature milk might be lower. This dose is only about 4.8% of the oral vancomycin dose of 40 mg/kg daily used to treat Clostridioides difficile infection of the bowel in infants.

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.


Reyes MP, Ostrea EM Jr, Cabinian AE, et al. Vancomycin during pregnancy: Does it cause hearing loss or nephrotoxicity in the infant? Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989;161:977–81. [PubMed: 2801848]

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.