Is Fexofenadine (Allegra) Safe While Breastfeeding?

Allegra While Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding is one of the most wonderful times for a young mom. However, it is a rather delicate phase, and any allergies or health complications can be dangerous for you or your baby. And, some medications can trigger adverse effects as well. Here, we look at an anti-allergen called fexofenadine (Allegra). Read on to know whether you can safely use Allegra while breastfeeding your baby.

What Is Fexofenadine?

Fexofenadine is a drug used to treat seasonal allergies. It is an antihistamine that provides relief from sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itching and other allergic conditions. Antihistamines block a natural substance in the body called histamine. Histamine typically reacts with an allergen and causes allergy symptoms. Other than allergies, Fexofenadine is also used to treat urticaria (red and itchy skin, hives).

Fexofenadine is a second-generation antihistamine. Second-generation antihistamines are called non-sedating as these do no cause drowsiness, unlike the first-generation antihistamines. Fexofenadine is available in the form of tablets, capsules, and liquid medicine. Allegra is the brand name of fexofenadine.

[ Read: Antibiotics While Breastfeeding ]

Is It Safe To Use Fexofenadine (Allegra) While Breastfeeding?

It is quite safe to use Allegra while breastfeeding. However, all drugs pass into breast milk in some amounts. So, fexofenadine may pass into breast milk in low doses. Therefore, if you are nursing your child, use any drug only after seeking approval from your doctor [1].

If you are using fexofenadine while breastfeeding, monitor your baby for any side effects. Look for unusual symptoms such as increased irritability, sudden changes in your baby’s sleeping or eating patterns or rash [2].

Side Effects Of Fexofenadine (Allegra) While Breastfeeding:

Allegra breastfeeding has certain side effects. It is not unusual as most drug use carries the risk of side effects. These side effects may be mild to severe.

If you plan to use fexofenadine while breastfeeding, observe any symptoms, you experience after taking a dose. It is also a good practice to discuss any potential side effects with your doctor before you plan to take the drug while breastfeeding. Doing so can help you make an informed decision about your health [3].

Some common side effects of using fexofenadine while breastfeeding include:

  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain during menstruation
  • Pain in the back, arms or legs
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The side effects of fexofenadine are rare. But if you experience the following symptoms after a dose of fexofenadine, inform your doctor about it [4]. Some of the severe effects of fexofenadine include:

  • Excessive dizziness
  • Rash
  • Swollen lips, tongue, throat or eyes
  • Swelling in hands or legs
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Hives

Fexofenadine use may also cause different side effects in you. If you feel any discomfort after using fexofenadine, tell your doctor about it.

Precautions:

You may need to follow certain precautions with your fexofenadine use. So, here we look at some allegra and breastfeeding safety tips. 

  • Fexofenadine may interact with your other medicines or certain foods. There are no specific foods that you must avoid when using this drug unless advised by your doctor. For instance, your doctor may ask you to avoid eating apples and citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit when using fexofenadine. Substances present in these fruits may interfere with the absorption of fexofenadine [5].
  • You may be allergic to a compound in fexofenadine. Therefore, it is important to monitor your health even when you use a safe drug like fexofenadine while breastfeeding [6].
  • Always maintain a time gap of two hours between your fexofenadine dose and medicines or supplements that contain magnesium or aluminum. These substances can interfere with optimum fexofenadine absorption in the body [7].

[ Read: Phenylephrine While Breastfeeding ]

Use Of Antihistamines While Breastfeeding:

It is safe to use all antihistamines while breastfeeding. Only a minimal amount of these drugs pass into the breast milk; there are no serious concerns about the use of antihistamines while nursing. But you may find it useful to know detailed information about antihistamine use while breastfeeding.

  • Second generation antihistamines like fexofenadine are considered safer to use compared with first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, and others. The reason for this is that newer antihistamines do not cause sedating effects in users. Drowsiness can be risky for anyone as it can interfere with just about any task. Imagine feeling sleepy while driving with your infant to the doctor or any such dangerous scenario. The sedating effects of antihistamines can also transfer to your breastfeeding infant. If you are concerned with this aspect of antihistamines, ask your doctor to recommend one that causes the least sedative effect. All second-generation antihistamines like fexofenadine, loratadine, cetirizine and desloratadine are non-sedating drugs.
  • Use any drug while breastfeeding only if it is necessary for your well being. Seasonal allergies are not life-threatening health conditions. But symptoms of allergies can be very uncomfortable. Unless you experience side effects from fexofenadine or any other antihistamine drug, you can safely use it while breastfeeding. But resist the temptation of buying an over-the-counter (OTC) dose of the medicine. Discuss your allergy symptoms with your doctor for the appropriate antihistamine ad its right dose for you.
  • There are clinical studies available on first-generation antihistamines. But adequate research is not yet available for all second-generation antihistamines. Clinical research on the effects of fexofenadine during lactation is low [8]. 

[ Read: Loratadine While Breastfeeding ]

Using Fexofenadine (Allegra) While Breastfeeding:

Even though fexofenadine passes into breast milk in low amounts, you can further reduce this risk by following certain measures.

  • Ask your doctor to recommend fexofenadine in the lowest dose possible to treat your allergies.
  • If your allergy symptoms consist of only nasal decongestion, ask your doctor for a safe nasal spray you can use while breastfeeding. Avoid taking an oral medicine if you can treat a condition with a nasal spray or topical application.
  • Feed your baby before you use fexofenadine. This way you can further reduce your baby’s exposure to the drug. You can also express the breast milk for your baby’s next feed before you use fexofenadine.
  • You may worry about the effects of your drug use during breastfeeding on your baby’s health. But you do not need to suffer from allergies or other health problems while you are nursing your child. You can make safe choices about your drug use with the right information at your disposal.
  • Share your concerns with your doctor and ask for medicines that you can use during breastfeeding without any problems to you and your baby’s health [9].

Did you use any allergy medicine while breastfeeding? Did you or your baby experience any side effects with its use? Tell us about it below.

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