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Question

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

Cetirizine HCl lactation summary

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

Second generation antihistamine, drug derived from piperazine and metabolite of hydroxyzine, with a minimal sedative effect and low toxicity even at higher dose. No short or long-term side effects were found in an infant with a mother who was treated in the first month post delivery for pemphigus (Westermann 2012). Because of a high plasma protein binding capacity, excretion into breast milk seems to be unlikely. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology and other experts rates it as compatible with breastfeeding (Butler 2014, Powell 2007).

Answer by DrLact: About Cetirizine HCl usage in lactation

Small occasional doses of cetirizine are probably acceptable during breastfeeding. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause drowsiness and other effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends cetirizine at its lowest dose as a preferred choice if an antihistamine is required during breastfeeding.[1] Cetirizine has been used successfully in cases of persistent pain of the breast during breastfeeding.[2] Ophthalmic use of cetirizine by the mother should pose little risk to the breastfed infant. To substantially diminish the amount of drug that reaches the breastmilk after using eye drops, place pressure over the tear duct by the corner of the eye for 1 minute or more, then remove the excess solution with an absorbent tissue.

Cetirizine HCl Side Effects in Breastfeeding

In one telephone follow-up study, mothers reported irritability and colicky symptoms 10% of infants exposed to various antihistamines and drowsiness was reported in 1.6% of infants. None of the reactions required medical attention.[3] A woman who was nursing (extent not stated) her newborn infant was treated for pemphigus with oral prednisolone 25 mg daily, with the dosage increased over 2 weeks to 60 mg daily. She was also taking cetirizine 10 mg daily and topical betamethasone 0.1% twice daily to the lesions. Because of a poor response, the betamethasone was changed to clobetasol propionate ointment 0.05%. She continued breastfeeding throughout treatment and her infant was developing normally at 8 weeks of age and beyond.[4] A woman with narcolepsy took sodium oxybate 4 grams each night at 10 pm and 2 am as well as fluoxetine 20 mg and cetirizine 5 mg daily throughout pregnancy and postpartum. She breastfed her infant except for 4 hours after the 10 pm oxybate dose and 4 hours after the 2 am dose. She either pumped breastmilk or breastfed her infant just before each dose of oxybate. The infant was exclusively breastfed or breastmilk fed for 6 months when solids were introduced. The infant was evaluated at 2, 4 and 6 months with the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, which were withing the normal range as were the infant's growth and pediatrician's clinical impressions regarding the infant's growth and development.[5]

Cetirizine HCl Possible Effects in Breastfeeding

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women.[6][7] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[6] Whether lower oral doses of cetirizine have the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin have any consequences on breastfeeding success have not been studied. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

Alternate Drugs for Antihistamines for systemic use. ATC R06A.

Acrivastine(Low Risk) Brompheniramine(Low Risk) Carbinoxamine(Low Risk) Cetirizine(Safe) Chlorpheniramine(Low Risk) Clemastine(Low Risk) Desloratadine(Safe) Dexchlorpheniramine(Low Risk) Dimenhydrinate(Low Risk) Diphenhydramine(Low Risk) Fexofenadine(Safe) Hydroxyzine(Safe) Loratadine(Safe) Promethazine(Low Risk) Pyrilamine(Low Risk) Thiethylperazine(Unsafe) Triprolidine(Safe) Epinastine(Low Risk) Meclizine(Low Risk) Ketotifen(Low Risk) Levocetirizine(Low Risk) Cyclizine(Low Risk) Doxylamine(Unsafe) Cetirizine Hydrochloride(Safe) Alimemazine(Low Risk) Astemizole(Unsafe) Azatadine Maleate(Low Risk) Bilastine(Low Risk) Brompheniramine Maleate(Low Risk) Buclizine-Hcl(Low Risk) Carbinoxamine Maleate(Low Risk) Cyproheptadine-Hcl(Low Risk) Clemastine Fumarate(Low Risk) Chlorcyclizine(Low Risk) Chlorphenamine(Low Risk) Chloropyramine Hydrochloride(Unsafe) Ebastine(Low Risk) Fexofenadine Hydrochloride(Safe) Ketotifen Fumarate(Low Risk) Meclozine(Low Risk) Mepyramine(Low Risk) Mequitazine(Unsafe) Mizolastine(Low Risk) Pizotifen(Low Risk) Rupatadine Fumarate(Low Risk) Terfenadine(Low Risk) Triprolidine Hydrochloride(Safe) Dimetindene Maleate (systemic use)(Unsafe) Trimeprazine(Low Risk) Halopyramine Hydrochloride(Unsafe) Doxylamine Succinate(Unsafe) Dramamine Ii(Low Risk) Chlorpheniramine Maleate(Low Risk) Pizotyline(Low Risk) Benzhydramine(Low Risk) Promethazine Hydrochloride(Low Risk) Pyranisamine(Low Risk) Kelp(Unsafe)
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.