Antibiotics Home > Rifadin and Breastfeeding

Rifadin (rifampin) does pass through breast milk in low amounts. However, the amounts are so low that many experts consider Rifadin and breastfeeding to be compatible. Women who nurse while taking this antibiotic should be watchful for possible side effects in their child, such as difficulty feeding, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Rifadin?

Rifadin® (rifampin) is a prescription medication used to treat tuberculosis. It is also used in people who are meningococcal carriers (people who have meningococcal bacteria in their nose or throat, but do not have a meningococcal infection).
Rifadin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Rifadin.

More Information About Rifadin and Breastfeeding

Rifadin has been shown to pass through breast milk in humans in small amounts. Based on the available information, the amount of Rifadin passed through breast milk is small enough that the risks to a nursing child are expected to be low.
In animal studies, Rifadin was shown to have the potential to cause tumors. Because of this potential risk, the manufacturer of Rifadin recommends that women should either breastfeed or take the medication, but not do both. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics consider the drug to be compatible with breastfeeding.
If your healthcare provider recommends breastfeeding while taking Rifadin, make sure to watch for any potential problems in your infant. Signs of such problems may include:
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Excessive drowsiness or sleeping more than usual
  • Gassiness
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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