What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

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Cetirizine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Cetirizine: Zyrtec, Zyrtec-D, Aller-Tec, Wal-Zyr D, Every Day Allergy, Zyrtec-D 12 Hour, Zerviate, KS Aller-Tec D-12, Equate Allergy Relief, Zyrtec Hives, Show every 23 »Children's Zyrtec, Allergy Relief D, 12 Hour Allergy-D, Every Day Allergy-D, Up and Up Every Day Allergy Relief D, Allergy D-12, Alleroff, Aller-Tec Children's, Children's Allergy Relief, Every Day Allergy Children's, PediaCare Children's 24-Hour Allergy, Quzyttir, Cetiri D

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

Final updated on Apr 22, 2019.

Cetirizine Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding



Cetirizine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Small occasional doses of cetirizine are probably acceptable during breastfeeding. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause drowsiness and other effects in the baby or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends cetirizine at its lowest dose as a preferred choice if an antihistamine is required during breastfeeding.[1] Cetirizine has been used successfully in cases of persistent pain of the breast during breastfeeding.[2]

Ophthalmic use of cetirizine by the mom should pose little risk to the breastfed baby. To substantially decrease the quantity of drug that reaches the breastmilk after using eye drops, put pressure over the tear duct by the corner of the eye for 1 minute or more, then remove the excess solution with an absorbent tissue.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Desloratadine, Fexofenadine, Loratadine

Effects in Breastfed Infants

In one telephone follow-up study, mothers reported irritability and colicky symptoms 10% of infants exposed to various antihistamines and drowsiness was reported in 1.6% of infants. None of the reactions required medical attention.[3]

A lady who was nursing (extent not stated) her newborn baby was treated for pemphigus with oral prednisolone 25 mg daily, with the dosage increased over 2 weeks to 60 mg daily.

She was also taking cetirizine 10 mg daily and topical betamethasone 0.1% twice daily to the lesions. Because of a poor response, the betamethasone was changed to clobetasol propionate ointment 0.05%. She continued breastfeeding throughout treatment and her baby was developing normally at 8 weeks of age and beyond.[4]

A lady with narcolepsy took sodium oxybate 4 grams each night at 10 pm and 2 am as well as fluoxetine 20 mg and cetirizine 5 mg daily throughout pregnancy and postpartum. She breastfed her baby except for 4 hours after the 10 pm oxybate dose and 4 hours after the 2 am dose.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

She either pumped breastmilk or breastfed her baby just before each dose of oxybate. The baby was exclusively breastfed or breastmilk fed for 6 months when solids were introduced. The baby was evaluated at 2, 4 and 6 months with the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, which were withing the normal range as were the infant’s growth and pediatrician’s clinical impressions regarding the infant’s growth and development.[5]

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.[6][7] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[6] Whether lower oral doses of cetirizine 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.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


1. 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. Muddana A, Asbill DT, Jerath MR et al. Quantitative sensory testing, antihistamines, and beta-blockers for management of persistent breast pain: A case series. Breastfeed Med. 2018;13:275-80. PMID: 29630399

3. Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M et al. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

1993;168:1393-9. PMID: 8498418

4. Westermann L, Hugel R, Meier M et al.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

Glucocorticosteroid-resistant pemphigoid gestationis: successful treatment with adjuvant immunoadsorption. J Dermatol. 2012;39:168-71. PMID: 22379622

5. Gashlin LZ, Sullo D, Lawrence RA et al. Treatment of narcolepsy with sodium oxybate while breastfeeding: A case report. Breastfeed Med. 2016;11:261-3. PMID: 27057786

6. 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.

What medication can i take for allergies while breastfeeding

PMID: 3928731

7. 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

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.

More about cetirizine ophthalmic

Related treatment guides

The common freezing will generally run its course within 7 to 14 days. There are numerous natural remedies and over the counter products that are compatible with breastfeeding.

Image credit: Jerry Bunker on flickr