What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women.[5][6] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[5] Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines own the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin own any consequences on breastfeeding success own not been studied.

The prolactin level in a mom with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

One mom out of 51 mothers who took loratadine while nursing reported that she had decreased milk production after taking loratadine 10 mg daily for less than one week at 4 months postpartum.[3]

Summary of Use during Lactation

Because of its lack of sedation and low milk levels, maternal use of loratadine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Loratadine might own a negative effect on lactation, especially in combination with a sympathomimetic agent such as pseudoephedrine. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends loratadine at its lowest dose as a preferred choice if an antihistamine is required during breastfeeding.[1]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Desloratadine, Fexofenadine

Effects in Breastfed Infants

A survey of 51 mothers who took loratadine during breastfeeding between 1999 and 2001 was conducted by a teratogen information service.

Most of the infants were over 2 months ancient and loratadine was generally taken for one week or less. Two mothers reported minor sedation in their infants, one at 3 days of age and one at 3 months of age. Both mothers were taking a dose of 10 mg daily. Weight acquire and psychomotor development were similar to infants in a control group of breastfed infants unexposed to medications.[3] An extension of the study that compared the results of this study (plus one additional patient) to that of a control group of 88 mothers who took a drug known to be safe while breastfeeding.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

No differences in sedation or any other side effects (p=0.606) in the baby were found between mothers who took loratadine during breastfeeding and those of the control group.[4]

Drug Levels

After a single oral dose of 40 mg of loratadine in 6 women, average peak milk levels of 29.2 (range 20.4 to 39) mcg/L occurred at two hours after the dose. In addition, average desloratadine peak milk levels of 16 (range 9 to 29.6) mcg/L occurred at 5.3 hours after the dose.

The entire quantity excreted in milk over 48 hours was 11.7 mcg of loratadine and its metabolite. However, the dose istered was four times greater than the usual dose of the drug, so a entire dose of about 3 mcg would be expected with a 10 mg dose. The calculated average and maximum expected doses of loratadine plus desloratadine in milk were 0.46 and 1.1% and of the maternal weight-adjusted dose, respectively, after the 40 mg dose.[2]



Powell RJ, Du Toit GL, Siddique N et al. BSACI guidelines for the management of chronic urticaria and angio-oedema. Clin Exp Allergy. 2007;37:631-50. PMID: 17456211

2. Hilbert J, Radwanski E, Affine MB et al. Excretion of loratadine in human breast milk. J Clin Pharmacol. 1988;28:234-9. PMID: 2966185

3. Messinis IE, Souvatzoglou A, Fais N et al. Histamine H1 receptor participation in the control of prolactin secretion in postpartum.

J Endocrinol Invest. 1985;8:143-6. PMID: 3928731

4. Merlob P, Stahl B. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to loratadine treatment (1999-2001). BELTIS Newsl. 2002;Number 10:43-51.

5. Merlob P.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal loratadine treatment (1999-2002). Unpublished manuscript.

6. Pontiroli AE, De Castro e Silva E, Mazzoleni F et al. The effect of histamine and H1 and H2 receptors on prolactin and luteinizing hormone release in humans: sex differences and the role of stress. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1981;52:924-8. PMID: 7228996

Cold Medications Precautions While Breast-Feeding

If you take lozenges or purchase a sore throat gargle, make certain you read the ingredients on the back or side label.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

You should avoid medications containing povidone-iodine. This ingredient increases iodine levels in breast milk. Higher levels lift the risk of transient hypothyroidism in breast-fed babies.

You should also avoid freezing medications with high alcohol content. These include some nighttime relief medications that cause drowsiness. Medications with multiple ingredients for multisymptom relief are convenient, but it’s safer to take single ingredient freezing medications. This precaution limits your baby’s exposure to over-the-counter medications.

You can also limit your baby’s exposure by taking dosages around your baby’s breast-feeding schedule, if possible.

For example, can you feed your baby before a dose, and then avoid breast-feeding for one or two hours immediately after each dose?

Another way to reduce your baby’s exposure is by avoiding additional strength freezing medications love those that only require one or two dosages a day. These medications are convenient because you don’t own to take a pill every four hours, but they also remain in your bloodstream and milk supply longer than other types of medication.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this sheet applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

Cold and flu season can knock you off your feet.

It’s hard to enjoy your family and work when you’re fighting a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and other annoying freezing symptoms.

The excellent news is that numerous over-the-counter medications can relieve your symptoms. Some people go to the nearest pharmacy at the first sign of a freezing.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

But if you’re breast-feeding, you may wonder if it’s safe to take freezing medicine.

Over-the-counter freezing remedies are generally safe while breast-feeding, but this doesn’t mean you should take any type of medication. Since the medications you take can pass into your breast milk — generally less than 1 percent of the taken dosage — it’s significant to check the athletic ingredients of every medicine so that you don’t expose your baby to a potentially harmful drug.

istrative Information

LactMed Record Number



Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment.

You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your specific situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Loratadine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Loratadine: Claritin, Claritin-D, Alavert, Claritin-D 24 Hour, Allergy Relief Tablets, Loratadine-D 24 Hour, Wal-itin, Claritin 24 Hour Allergy, Claritin-D 12 Hour, Alavert D-12 Hour Allergy and Sinus, Show every 31 »Claritin Reditabs, Tavist ND, AllerClear D-24 Hour, Allergy Relief D12, Allergy & Congestion Relief, Leader Allergy Relief D-24, Loratadine-D 12 Hour, Clear-Atadine-D, Loratadine Reditab, Children's Claritin Allergy, Bactimicina Allergy, Clear-Atadine Children's, Dimetapp Children's ND Non-Drowsy Allergy, Claritin Hives Relief, Clear-Atadine, ohm Allergy Relief, Assist I Own Allergies, Vicks QlearQuil Every Day & Every Night 24 Hour Allergy Relief, Children's Allergy Relief 24 Hour, Allergy Relief 24 Hour, Allergy Relief D 24 Hour

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com.

Final updated on Jul 13, 2019.

Safe Freezing Medicines While Breast-Feeding

Pseudoephedrine and phenylephedrine are oral decongestants for treating nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies, and sinus infections. Both ingredients are common in over-the-counter medications and considered safe while breast-feeding. But although safe, these ingredients can affect breast-feeding.

Decongestants improve freezing symptoms by constricting the blood vessels in the nose and sinuses. This helps open up your nasal passageway and improves breathing. But decongestants can also affect other parts of the body. These medications can constrict blood vessels in the breasts and reduce blood flow needed for milk production.

You should also be aware of how decongestants can affect infants. Some infants aren’t bothered by traces of the medication in their milk supply, but decongestants can cause irritability and restlessness in infants.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

If you don’t desire to risk problems with your milk flow or cause restlessness in your baby, you can skip an oral treatment and relieve congestion with a nasal spray decongestant.

Allergy symptoms sometimes accompany a freezing. Fortunately, antihistamines are also safe while breast-feeding. But some allergy medications cause drowsiness.

Antihistamines with the ingredients diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine may cause marked drowsiness and sluggishness.

Breast-feeding while taking these medications can make your baby sleepy. You can avoid this side effect by choosing nondrowsy antihistamines, such as loratadine (Claritin) and fexofenadine (Allegra). However, unlike other antihistamines, these will only assist symptoms caused by allergies, not the runny nose that comes with a freezing virus.

Cold symptom severity varies from person to person.

What allergy medications are safe to take while breastfeeding

You may own body aches or need a pain reliever for a sore throat. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium are safe options while breast-feeding. If you prefer treating a painful sore throat without these types of medications, you can ease symptoms with lozenges or an over-the-counter sore throat gargle.

If you’re dealing with a nagging cough, cough suppressants with the ingredient dextromethorphan are also safe to take while breast-feeding.

Loratadine Identification

CAS Registry Number


Substance Name


Drug Class

Breast Feeding



Nonsedating Antihistamines