Studies on Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) and breastfeeding have shown that the drug passes through breast milk, but in relatively low amounts. The risk of eye damage in the infant also appears to be relatively low. Generally, the benefits outweigh the risks when the medication is used for malaria (but not for other conditions). Before taking Plaquenil, breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare providers.
Is Plaquenil Safe for Breastfeeding Women?
Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine sulfate) passes through breast milk in humans. When used to prevent or treat malaria, the benefits of using Plaquenil during breastfeeding usually outweigh the possible risks. If you are breastfeeding, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Plaquenil.
Plaquenil and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Studies have shown that Plaquenil passes through breast milk in relatively low amounts (too low to provide any malaria protection for the infant). Studies also suggest that the risk of eye damage in the infant is low (eye damage is a known Plaquenil side effect). In general, the benefits outweigh the risks when this medication is used for malaria (the same may not be true when it is used to treat other conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis). It is important to note that Plaquenil can be used for malaria treatment or prevention in children and infants.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Plaquenil and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Plaquenil 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, the two of you can make a shared decision about Plaquenil and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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