Antibiotics Home > Doxycycline and Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding and taking doxycycline at the same time, it is important to know that the medication does pass through your breast milk. However, the level of doxycycline that is passed to the nursing child is relatively low. Before using this product, breastfeeding women should consult with their healthcare provider.

Is Doxycycline Safe for Breastfeeding Women?

Doxycycline passes through breast milk in humans. There are conflicting opinions about whether the drug is acceptable for use in breastfeeding women.

Doxycycline and Breastfeeding: Conflicting Opinions

Traditionally, it has been advised that breastfeeding women should avoid taking doxycycline. Tetracycline antibiotics (including doxycycline) can cause permanent tooth discoloration in children. It was thought that exposure to doxycycline through breast milk might cause this problem.
However, some sources suggest that short-term use of the antibiotic is unlikely to cause any problems. Levels of doxycycline in breast milk are relatively low. Also, the calcium in breast milk binds to the doxycycline, preventing the medication from being absorbed from the infant's digestive tract into the bloodstream (this is why doxycycline should not be taken with calcium).
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics has not rated doxycycline, a closely related antibiotic (tetracycline) is rated as being usually compatible with breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking doxycycline. 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, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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