Ofloxacin and Breastfeeding

Although oral ofloxacin passes through breast milk, the otic and ophthalmic forms may not. Even if the drug is passed to a nursing infant, the effects are unknown. If you are taking oral ofloxacin while breastfeeding, wait four to six hours after taking a dose. If you are using the eye drops, apply gentle pressure to the tear duct after application.

Is Ofloxacin Safe for Breastfeeding Women?

Ofloxacin is a prescription antibiotic, licensed to treat certain infections. It comes as a tablet, an eye drop, and an ear drop. Oral ofloxacin is known to pass through breast milk. However, it is unknown if the eye and ear drop products also pass through. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using this drug.

What Does the Research Say About Breastfeeding and Ofloxacin?

Studies have shown that ofloxacin passes through breast milk in amounts similar to those found in the bloodstream after oral use. However, no studies have been done to see how much of the medication is absorbed by the nursing child or what the effects might be.
Theoretically, the calcium in breast milk might bind to ofloxacin in the infant's digestive tract, preventing the medication from being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, it is not known if this is really the case.
There are concerns that fluoroquinolones like ofloxacin may cause bone and joint problems in infants and children. However, some experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, consider ofloxacin compatible with breastfeeding when used for a short period. To be safe, breastfeeding should be avoided for four to six hours after ofloxacin is taken by mouth. This is when drug levels are thought to be highest in the breast milk.
With the ofloxacin ear and eye drops, very little medication is expected to reach the bloodstream after normal use. Therefore, it is unlikely that these products would reach the breast milk to be passed to a nursing infant. However, because the eye and ear products have never been studied in breastfeeding women, all possible problems cannot be ruled out.
To help reduce the amount of ofloxacin ophthalmic (eye) solution that may reach the breast milk, apply gentle pressure to the tear duct with your finger for at least one minute after using it. Then wipe away any remaining medication with a tissue.
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