Question

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

Chloramphenicol lactation summary

Chloramphenicol is unsafe in breastfeeding
  • DrLact safety Score for Chloramphenicol is 5 out of 8 which is considered Unsafe as per our analyses.
  • A safety Score of 5 indicates that usage of Chloramphenicol may cause serious side effects in breastfed baby.
  • Our study of different scientific research indicates that Chloramphenicol may cause moderate to high side effects or may affect milk supply in lactating mother.
  • Our suggestion is to use safer alternate options rather than using Chloramphenicol .
  • It is recommended to evaluate the advantage of not breastfeeding while using Chloramphenicol Vs not using Chloramphenicol And continue breastfeeding.
  • While using Chloramphenicol Its must to monitor child for possible reactions. It is also important to understand that side effects vary largely based on age of breastfed child and time of medication in addition to 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 Chloramphenicol usage in lactation

Stupor, flatulence or vomiting have been described. Theoretical risk though never reported of bone marrow toxicity. Use only if necessary. Avoid any use during neonatal period. Be aware of the possibility of false negative results of bacterial cultures when the mother is on antibiotics.

Answer by DrLact: About Chloramphenicol usage in lactation

Adverse reactions such as vomiting, excessive intestinal gas and falling asleep at the breast have been reported in breastfed infants whose mothers were taking oral chloramphenicol. Milk concentrations are not sufficient to induce "gray baby" syndrome, but since chloramphenicol-induced aplastic anemia is not dose-related, this might occur, but has not been reported. An alternate drug is preferred to chloramphenicol during breastfeeding, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant. If the mother must receive chloramphenicol during nursing, monitor the infant for gastrointestinal disturbances and adequacy of nursing. Monitoring of the infant's complete blood count and differential is advisable. In some cases, discontinuation of breastfeeding might be preferred.

Chloramphenicol Side Effects in Breastfeeding

One study reported 50 breastfed infants whose mothers were give oral chloramphenicol beginning 2 to 12 days postpartum in dosages of 1 (n = 20), 2 (n = 20)or 3 grams (n = 10) daily. All of the infants refused to suck, and 50 to 60% fell asleep during nursing. Vomiting occurred after feeding in 10%, 25%, and 90% of infants with daily maternal dosages of 1, 2 and 3 grams, respectively. All infants had excessive intestinal gas and abdominal distention, with severe problems in 0.5%, 20% and 100% of infants with daily maternal dosages of 1, 2 and 3 grams, respectively.[4]

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Synonyms of Chloramphenicol

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