Azithromycin and Breastfeeding

Many healthcare providers are comfortable prescribing the antibiotic azithromycin to women who are nursing. While the drug has been shown to pass through human breast milk, the amount received by an infant is generally believed to be too small to cause problems. For safety purposes, however, it's still a good idea to talk to your doctor about breastfeeding and azithromycin in your particular situation.

Is Azithromycin Safe for Breastfeeding Women?

Azithromycin (Zithromax®) passes through breast milk in humans. This medication is generally considered acceptable for use during breastfeeding in most situations. Nonetheless, you should still check with your healthcare provider before taking azithromycin while breastfeeding.

More Information on Breastfeeding and Azithromycin

Azithromycin passes through breast milk in low amounts, probably too low to cause any problems for the infants. To put it into perspective, the amount of azithromycin an infant would receive through breast milk would be significantly less than the amount that would be given if the infant were to be directly treated with this drug. Therefore, a mother's use of azithromycin would not be expected to cause any problems in a nursing child, other than perhaps the usual azithromycin side effects.
Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to watch for diarrhea or thrush in an infant whose mother is taking an antibiotic, since such problems might occur due to disruption of the normal "good" bacteria in the infant.
Early evidence has possibly linked the exposure of macrolide antibiotics (such as azithromycin) through breast milk with pyloric stenosis (a serious but treatable stomach condition). Although this problem is rare, it is still a good idea to watch for any signs of pyloric stenosis, such as vomiting and sudden and severe fussiness during feeding.
Many healthcare providers feel comfortable with the use of azithromycin during breastfeeding.
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