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What is the Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline?



Many Thanks for providing clear and concise information about cough and cold remedies whilst breastfeeding, you were a lifeline. Well done!"


I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for your information. I am having a colonoscopy tomorrow and I was worried re the laxative I am taking in prep and am relieved to read that it passes through the gut therefore won't pose a problem to my baby. Thank you for reassuring me!





For information on taking prescription drugs while breastfeeding please provide as much information (age of baby, dose, frequency and name of medication or drug) in an email to us.

Or alternatively please read all the information below before calling:

0844 412 4665

The Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline was set up by BfN in response to the number of calls received concerning medication.

The drugline is run on a voluntary basis by a pharmacist who is also a BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporter. She receives help with running the line from a BfN Registered Drugline Helper. The service is provided over and above full-time work commitments so calls are generally not answered during the day. There is however an ansaphone to take messages and calls are returned as soon as possible.

The service is open to mothers and professionals but the time available to deal with breastfeeding support of mothers is limited so professionals are encouraged to find out the information to enable them to support the mothers themselves.

An increasing number of mothers and health professionals have sought to find more information on the levels of medicines passing through milk to the baby. Standard reference books such as the British National Formulary (BNF) provide little information for professionals and parents to make decisions on individual situations. BfN endeavours to provide information to enable mothers to breastfeed their babies for as long as they wish and to provide information on the safety of medicines for each mother and baby pair.

Please see the information sheets in answer to frequently asked questions such as medicines for coughs and colds, antidepressants, smoking and NRT, the morning after pill, and flu injections as well as the leaflets on thrush and mastitis.

We are constantly reviewing the information available on drugs and breastfeeding as new research is conducted. Therefore, from time-to-time the information on this website may be updated - please be sure to check regularly for any new information and changes to the drug information fact sheets and leaflets.