Is It Safe To Take Naproxen While Breastfeeding?

Naproxen And Breastfeeding

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Are you concerned about breastfeeding your child while you are taking a medicine such as naproxen? Are you worried about the side effects of the drug? If you nodded along anxiously, you might want to read our post on naproxen and breastfeeding.

Medication use by nursing mothers is quite common. After childbirth, women may need to take medicines for some health problems such as bladder infections, swollen breasts, uterine infections, back pain, and postpartum depression.

If you are a new mom, you may be wondering if the medicines you are taking can harm your nursing child through your breast milk. You may also wonder about the adverse effects of drugs on your nursing child that you may be taking for any chronic health problem since before your pregnancy.

Scroll down to learn all about naproxen while nursing your baby.

What Is Naproxen?

  • Naproxen falls under the class of drugs known as NSAIDs. NSAIDs or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs help treat many conditions related to inflammation, pain, and fever (1).
  • Naproxen is used for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and tendinitis. It is also used to treat menstrual pains, muscle aches, headaches, toothache, cold, fever and symptoms of various other medical conditions (2).

[ Read : Is It Safe To Take Antibiotics While Breastfeeding ]

  • Naproxen is available as extended-release tablets, liquid-filled capsules, suspension and gelatin-coated tablets. While regular naproxen tablets are available as over-the-counter (OTC) pills, some forms are available only through a prescription (3).
  • Some common brand names of naproxen are Naprelan®, Aleve®, Naprosyn®, Flanax®, Anaprox®, Naprelan 500 and EC Naprosyn (4).

Naproxen And Breastfeeding – Is It Safe?

So, now that you know what Naproxen is let’s look at a few facts about naproxen use while breastfeeding.

  • Naproxen use for a short duration of time is considered safe during breastfeeding. However, there is always a chance of minimal risk for even drugs that are safe to take while breastfeeding (5).
  • Naproxen use while breastfeeding is considered safe due to the drug’s lower rate of transfer into the breast milk (6).
  • Research regarding the safety of naproxen use while breastfeeding is inadequate (7).
  • Lactating women who are breastfeeding their baby and need to take an occasional pill for a headache, and then naproxen (Aleve) is considered safe to use (8).
  • Long-term use of naproxen during breastfeeding may pose harm to the infant as the compounds from the pills may transfer and collect in the child’s body.

[ Read : Is It Safe To Take Drugs During Breastfeeding ]

Side Effects Of Naproxen During Breastfeeding:

Naproxen in breastfeeding can cause the following side effects, which can range from mild to severe. Here, we list some of the common ones:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hives
  • Heartburn
  • Water Retention
  • Excessive thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hearing troubles
  • Headache
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Confusion
  • Vision problems (9)

Side Effects Of NSAIDs:

There are several side effects with the use of NSAIDs. The below risks are greater for people who consume more than three alcoholic drinks on a daily basis or are generally in poor health.

  • Use of NSAIDs such as naproxen is associated with increased risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Naproxen is also known to increase the risks of intestinal/stomach bleeding and ulcers.
  • NSAID use can be harmful for those with a history of diabetes and hypertension (10).

[ Read : Is It Safe To Breastfeed With Fever ]

Medicine Use While Breastfeeding:

If you are a new mother, your concern about your medication use affecting the quality of your breastmilk is genuine.

  1. Here are some facts about medicine use while breastfeeding.
  1. All medicines affect the breastmilk quality to some extent. Some drugs may do so in a mild way while others more severely.
  1. Medicines in breastmilk can harm preterm babies, newborns and sick infants to a greater extent than babies who are older than six months and in good health.
  1. New mothers need not stop the use of all drugs when breastfeeding their child. Your doctor can offer you an alternative safer drug for any chronic condition if your current medicine can harm your baby. If you need to take any drugs for a few days to treat a serious health problem, cessation of breastfeeding your child is a better option than exposing him to any risk from medicinal compounds. You can supplement his diet during this time through infant formula or as per your doctor’s suggestions (11).

Tips To Reduce The Effect Of Drugs In Breastmilk:

If you can’t avoid taking a certain medication due to a serious health condition, some precautions may be necessary while you are nursing your child.

  • Here are some tips to minimize risk to your nursing child due to compounds present in your pills.
  • Take your dose immediately after you breastfeed your child for minimizing the risk of drug exposure to your child.
  • Before taking your dose, you can express your breastmilk for your child’s next feeding to further reducing his exposure to medicines. If you notice any adverse symptoms in your child after breastfeeding, immediately inform your doctor about it.
  • If you are planning your pregnancy and you suffer from any chronic condition such as arthritis or are ongoing a lengthy treatment for the same, it is better to discuss it with your doctor before you conceive.

[ Read : 5 Medications To Cure Migraine During Breastfeeding ]

Some Safety Precautions With Naproxen Usage:

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you must refrain from taking even OTC naproxen pills. It is better to take any medicine, even if it is OTC pills for simple aches and fever, only after the approval of your doctor.

  1. If you are planning your pregnancy, talk to your doctor about any health condition you have requiring you to take NSAIDs such as naproxen.
  1. Follow-up with your doctor about your use of naproxen for any chronic condition and seek alternate treatment if possible for the duration of your pregnancy and while you nurse your child.
  1. Breastfeeding is rather essential for the good health of your newborn. Do not let your use of naproxen or any other drugs deprive your child of this nutrition. Seek information about safe use of drugs while breastfeeding and alternate treatment methods whenever possible. Such information may help you manage your condition without harming your nursing child.

Now that you understood whether is it safe to take naproxen while breastfeeding, hope you will be cautious. Did your child face any problems due to your use of these medicines while breastfeeding? Tell us below.

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