Question

I am a breastfeeding mother and i want to know if it is safe to use Tetracycline? Is Tetracycline safe for nursing mother and child? Does Tetracycline extracts into breast milk? Does Tetracycline has any long term or short term side effects on infants? Can Tetracycline influence milk supply or can Tetracycline decrease milk supply in lactating mothers?

Tetracycline lactation summary

Tetracycline is safe in breastfeeding
  • DrLact safety Score for Tetracycline is 1 out of 8 which is considered Safe as per our analyses.
  • A safety Score of 1 indicates that usage of Tetracycline is mostly safe during lactation for breastfed baby.
  • Our study of different scientific research also indicates that Tetracycline does not cause any serious side effects in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Most of scientific studies and research papers declaring usage of Tetracycline safe in breastfeeding are based on normal dosage and may not hold true for higher dosage.
  • Score calculated using the DrLact safety Version 1.2 model, this score ranges from 0 to 8 and measures overall safety of drug in lactation. Scores are primarily calculated using publicly available case studies, research papers, other scientific journals and publically available data.

Answer by Dr. Ru: About Tetracycline usage in lactation

Excreted into breast milk in quantities that would be clinically significant, however, intestinal absorption by infant's gut is hampered because of formation of chelating products by union with the milk's calcium. No side-effect found among breastfed infants from treated mothers. Plasma levels in those infant were low or undetectable. Long-term treatments (over 3-4 weeks) as for treatment of acne may cause damage to the growth cartilage, teeth discoloration and imbalance of intestinal flora. Thus, a safer alternative should be looked at. (See acne) Be aware of false negative results that may be obtained from infants with bacterial cultures when the mother is on antibiotics. The American Academy of Pediatrics has rated it (2001) as compatible with breastfeeding.

Answer by DrLact: About Tetracycline usage in lactation

A number of reviews have stated that tetracycline is contraindicated during breastfeeding because of possible staining of infants' dental enamel or bone deposition of tetracyclines. However, a close examination of available literature indicates that there is not likely to be harm in short-term use of tetracycline during lactation because milk levels are low and absorption by the infant is inhibited by the calcium in breastmilk. Short-term use of tetracycline is acceptable in nursing mothers. As a theoretical precaution, avoid prolonged or repeat courses during nursing. Monitor the infant for rash and for possible effects on the gastrointestinal flora, such as diarrhea or candidiasis (thrush, diaper rash).

Tetracycline Side Effects in Breastfeeding

No adverse effects were noted in an unspecified number of breastfed infants whose mothers were taking oral tetracycline 1, 1.5 or 2 grams daily for 3 days. Ages of the infants and extent of breastfeeding were not stated.[1] In one study, 5 infants breastfed during maternal therapy with tetracycline 500 mg 4 times daily with no adverse effects observed.[2] In an observational study of 251 women, 23.8% of nursing mothers received tetracycline during breastfeeding. No gross adverse effect occurred in any of the breastfed infants.[4] Although it is often stated that tetracyclines are to be avoided during lactation because of tooth staining, this adverse effect has never been reported after exposure via breastmilk. Milk calcium may inhibit absorption of the small amounts of tetracyclines in milk.

Alternate Drugs

Ertapenem(Safe)
Neomycin(Safe)
Doxycycline(Low Risk)
Indinavir(Unsafe)
Lomefloxacin(Low Risk)
Zidovudine(Low Risk)
Cefaclor(Safe)
Erythromycin(Low Risk)
Amikacin(Safe)
Levofloxacin(Low Risk)
Tenofovir(Safe)
Nafcillin(Safe)
Clindamycin(Low Risk)
Amantadine(Low Risk)
Valganciclovir(Low Risk)
Econazole(Safe)
Kanamycin(Safe)
Moxifloxacin(Low Risk)
Ganciclovir(Low Risk)
Demeclocycline(Low Risk)
Cefixime(Safe)
Lindane(Unsafe)
Saquinavir(Unsafe)
Acyclovir(Safe)
Primaquine(Low Risk)
Quinine(Safe)
Atovaquone(Low Risk)
Cefepime(Safe)
Linezolid(Low Risk)
Efavirenz(Unsafe)
Malathion(Low Risk)
Cefprozil(Safe)
Aztreonam(Safe)
Didanosine(Unsafe)
Ritonavir(Unsafe)
Methicillin(Low Risk)
Ofloxacin(Safe)
Cefdinir(Safe)
Gatifloxacin(Low Risk)
Nevirapine(Low Risk)
Dapsone(Low Risk)
Nelfinavir(Unsafe)
Meropenem(Safe)
Naftifine(Safe)
Cefazolin(Safe)
Enoxacin(Low Risk)
Abacavir(Safe)
Cefoxitin(Safe)
Capreomycin(Low Risk)
Rifaximin(Safe)
Famciclovir(Low Risk)
Cefotetan(Safe)
Lomefloxacin(Low Risk)
Cefaclor(Safe)
Erythromycin(Low Risk)
Nalidixic Acid(Low Risk)
Iodine(Unsafe)
Levofloxacin(Low Risk)
Nafcillin(Safe)
Clindamycin(Low Risk)
Amikacin(Safe)
Moxifloxacin(Low Risk)
Demeclocycline(Low Risk)
Cefixime(Safe)
Kanamycin(Safe)
Cefepime(Safe)
Cefprozil(Safe)
Aztreonam(Safe)
Methicillin(Low Risk)
Ofloxacin(Safe)
Cefdinir(Safe)
Gatifloxacin(Low Risk)
Methenamine(Unsafe)
Cefoxitin(Safe)
Cefazolin(Safe)
Enoxacin(Low Risk)
Capreomycin(Low Risk)
Mupirocin(Safe)
Cefotetan(Safe)
Ertapenem(Safe)
Neomycin(Safe)
Doxycycline(Low Risk)
Demeclocycline(Low Risk)
Doxycycline(Low Risk)
Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. We do not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.