In the past, minocycline has not been recommended for women who are nursing, due to the possibility of permanent tooth discoloration in the growing child. However, now there is reason to believe that short-term use of the antibiotic during breastfeeding is not likely to cause problems. If you plan to breastfeed while taking minocycline, talk to your healthcare provider about your specific situation.
Is Minocycline Safe for Breastfeeding Women?
Minocycline passes through breast milk in humans. However, there are conflicting opinions about whether tetracycline antibiotics like minocycline are acceptable for use in breastfeeding women.
Differing Opinions About Breastfeeding and Minocycline
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has not rated minocycline, tetracycline, a closely related antibiotic, is rated as being usually compatible with breastfeeding.
Traditionally, breastfeeding women have been advised to avoid minocycline. The medication can cause permanent tooth discoloration in children, and it was thought that exposure to it 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 minocycline in breast milk are relatively low. Also, the calcium in breast milk binds to the medication, preventing it from being absorbed from the infant's digestive tract into the bloodstream (this is why minocycline should not be taken with calcium).
As with the use of any antibiotic during breastfeeding, other possible effects in the nursing infant might include diarrhea, thrush, or diaper rash.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking minocycline. 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: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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