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

Hydroxychloroquine lactation summary

Hydroxychloroquine is safe in breastfeeding
  • DrLact safety Score for Hydroxychloroquine is 1 out of 8 which is considered Safe as per our analyses.
  • A safety Score of 1 indicates that usage of Hydroxychloroquine is mostly safe during lactation for breastfed baby.
  • Our study of different scientific research also indicates that Hydroxychloroquine does not cause any serious side effects in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Most of scientific studies and research papers declaring usage of Hydroxychloroquine 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 Hydroxychloroquine usage in lactation

Antimalarial drug used as anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating agent on tissue diseases such as arthritis or lupus. It is excreted in breast milk in clinically non-significant amount which is much lower than the dose used in infants. Problems related to clinical features, development, vision or hearing issues have not been observed in infants whose mothers have received this medication. When the mother takes 400 mg per day only 1 mg appears for every liter of milk, which is not considered dangerous to the infant, since a preventive dose for malaria in infants is 5 mg per kilo of weight once a week. American Academy of Pediatrics states that it is usually compatible with breastfeeding medication.

Answer by DrLact: About Hydroxychloroquine usage in lactation

Infants exposed to hydroxychloroquine during breastfeeding receive only small amounts of the drug in breastmilk. In a small number of infants up to at least 1 year of age, careful follow-up found no adverse effects on growth, vision or hearing.[1][2] International experts indicate that hydroxychloroquine is acceptable during breastfeeding.[3][4][5][6] When given once weekly for malaria prophylaxis, the amount of drug is not sufficient to harm the infant nor is the quantity sufficient to protect the child from malaria. Breastfeeding infants should receive the recommended dosages of hydroxychloroquine for malaria prophylaxis.[7]

Hydroxychloroquine Side Effects in Breastfeeding

No adverse effects were reported in one 9-month-old breastfed infant whose mother was taking 310 mg hydroxychloroquine base daily for 6 weeks.[9] Five mothers took hydroxychloroquine 200 mg daily during pregnancy and breastfeeding, one for 30 months. Flash electroretinograms performed on the infants were normal.[1][14] Another group of investigators have reported numerous infants whose mother took hydroxychloroquine during pregnancy and were breastfed during maternal hydroxychloroquine use. An abstract reported 16 infants breastfed for 1 to 19 months and followed up at an average of 24 months (range 1 to 86 months) with no evidence of visual or hearing deficits.[15] In a letter they reported 8 breastfed infants followed up at 1, 6 and 12 months of age who had normal growth and development and who had thorough, normal eye examinations at 1 and 12 months of age.[16] In a case series, 13 mothers taking hydroxychloroquine sulfate 200 mg daily breastfed their infants for an average of 2.8 months (range 1 to 6 months). None had evidence of retinal, motor or growth abnormalities during 12 months of follow-up. The authors conclude that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of hydroxychloroquine.[2] It appears that the 8 infants reported in the letter were included among the 13 infants in the case series, but it is unclear whether the 16 infants reported in the abstract were part of the case series.

Alternate Drugs

Dapsone(Low Risk)
Malathion(Low Risk)
Erythromycin(Low Risk)
Capreomycin(Low Risk)
Clindamycin(Low Risk)
Lomefloxacin(Low Risk)
Levofloxacin(Low Risk)
Zidovudine(Low Risk)
Primaquine(Low Risk)
Amantadine(Low Risk)
Gatifloxacin(Low Risk)
Atovaquone(Low Risk)
Linezolid(Low Risk)
Valganciclovir(Low Risk)
Enoxacin(Low Risk)
Ganciclovir(Low Risk)
Doxycycline(Low Risk)
Nevirapine(Low Risk)
Moxifloxacin(Low Risk)
Demeclocycline(Low Risk)
Methicillin(Low Risk)
Famciclovir(Low Risk)
Primaquine(Low Risk)
Atovaquone(Low Risk)
Primaquine(Low Risk)
Atovaquone(Low Risk)
Malathion(Low Risk)
Primaquine(Low Risk)
Atovaquone(Low Risk)
Abatacept(Low Risk)
Rituximab(Low Risk)
Penicillamine(Low Risk)
Tocilizumab(Low Risk)
Auranofin(Low Risk)
Methotrexate(Low Risk)
Anakinra(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.