In previous studies, baby rats that were exposed to famotidine in breast milk experienced a slow growth rate. As a result of these studies, the manufacturer of famotidine has advised women to either stop taking famotidine while breastfeeding or stop breastfeeding while taking the drug. However, when asked about famotidine and breastfeeding, most healthcare providers advise their patients that it is okay to breastfeed while taking famotidine. This is because the benefits of breastfeeding typically outweigh the risks presented by the drug.
Famotidine and Breastfeeding: An Overview
Famotidine (Pepcid®, Pepcid AC®, and Pepcid Complete®) is passed through breast milk in low amounts. Due to concerns regarding slow growth in breastfeeding baby rats, the manufacturer of famotidine suggests that women either stop breastfeeding during treatment with famotidine or stop taking famotidine while breastfeeding.
Practically, when healthcare providers are asked about famotidine 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 presented by the drug.
Famotidine and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Previous studies have shown that famotidine is passed through breast milk in relatively low amounts. While it is not known how these low amounts of the drug might affect a growing baby, the risks likely are low -- especially since famotidine is approved for use in infants (even newborns). If you are using famotidine to treat a more serious condition (such as ulcers), your healthcare provider may recommend taking famotidine while breastfeeding. However, if you are taking it for a less serious condition (such as acid indigestion), your healthcare provider may recommend that you stop taking famotidine while breastfeeding.
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