Studies on femhrt and breastfeeding have shown that the hormones in this medication do pass through breast milk. Although these hormones pass through breast milk in low amounts and probably won't cause any significant problems in breastfed infants, the estrogen component may decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. Therefore, healthcare providers typically recommend avoiding estrogen-containing medications (such as femhrt) while breastfeeding.
Can I Take Femhrt While Breastfeeding?
Available by prescription only, femhrt® (norethindrone acetate/ethinyl estradiol) is a hormone replacement medication that is used to treat menopause symptoms and to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The hormones in femhrt are known to pass through breast milk and may decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. Therefore, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking femhrt if you are breastfeeding.
What Does the Research Say About Femhrt and Breastfeeding?
Studies have shown that the estrogen and progestin hormones in femhrt pass through breast milk in low amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in breastfed infants.
More significantly, the estrogen hormone (ethinyl estradiol) in femhrt may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. It is for this reason that estrogen-containing medications (including femhrt and many birth control pills) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Femhrt and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about femhrt 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 femhrt and breastfeeding that is right for you. In most situations, femhrt is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
femhrt [package insert]. Rockaway, NJ: Warner Chilcott, Inc.;2005 January.
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 10, 2008.
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