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Low levels of cimetidine pass through breast milk. Therefore, the manufacturer of the drug recommends that women not take cimetidine while breastfeeding. Many healthcare providers, however, feel that the benefits of breastfeeding a child often outweigh the risks cimetidine poses. When making a recommendation concerning cimetidine and breastfeeding, a healthcare provider will consider many factors, such as the condition the drug is being used to treat.

An Overview of Cimetidine and Breastfeeding

Cimetidine (Tagamet®) is passed through breast milk in low amounts. The manufacturer states that cimetidine should not be taken during breastfeeding in general.
Practically, when healthcare providers are asked about cimetidine and breastfeeding, they often advise their patients that it is okay to breastfeed while taking the medication. This is because in many cases, the benefits of breastfeeding a child outweigh the possible risks associated with cimetidine.

Cimetidine and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that cimetidine is passed through breast milk. While it is not known how these low amounts of cimetidine might affect a growing baby, the risks are probably low. Other sources have listed cimetidine as being compatible with breastfeeding. If you are using the drug to treat a serious condition (such as an ulcer), your healthcare provider may recommend that you take cimetidine while breastfeeding. However, if you are taking cimetidine for a less serious condition (such as indigestion), your healthcare provider may recommend stopping cimetidine while breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Cimetidine and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about cimetidine and breastfeeding. Every woman's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. After considering what you what want and expect (and your current health situation), you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about cimetidine and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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