If you are using Estrace and breastfeeding, it is important to know that the hormones in the medication do pass through breast milk. Although the amount of Estrace that passes through breast milk is probably too low to cause any significant problems in a breastfed infant, it can decrease the quality and quantity of the breast milk.
Is It Safe to Take Estrace While Breastfeeding?
Estrace® (estradiol) is a prescription medication that is most often used to treat menopause symptoms (although it is approved for a few other uses as well). The estrogen hormone in Estrace passes through breast milk and can decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. Therefore, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking Estrace if you are breastfeeding.
What Does the Research Say About Estrace and Breastfeeding?
It's important to note that the estrogen hormones in Estrace may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. It is for this reason that estrogen-containing medications (including Estrace and many birth control pills) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding. In fact, estradiol (the hormone in Estrace) is sometimes used to suppress lactation and decrease engorgement in women who choose not to breastfeed.
Research suggests that Estrace passes through breast milk in low amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in breastfeeding infants.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Estrace and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Estrace and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about Estrace and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Estrace [package insert]. Rockaway, NJ: Warner Chilcott (US), Inc.;2005 December.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 3, 2008.
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