Is It Safe to Take Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding?

As a matter of fact, the flu and cold season may knock us off our feet quickly. It is rather difficult to enjoy our working and family gathering time when fighting the runny nose, sore throat, cough, and several annoying symptoms of the cold. However, there are many easy-to-use medications to relieve those symptoms, and you can find them at the nearby pharmacy. In the case you are nursing your baby, you should consider carefully whether to take cold medicine while breastfeeding.

Precautions of Cold Medications While Breastfeeding

In the case you make a gargle for a sore throat or purchase lozenges, ensure you know the ingredients and instructions on the side label or its back. You need to avoid medications having the povidone-iodine which increases the level of iodine in your breast milk. The high iodine level may raise the transient hypothyroidism risk in your baby.

To have the safe breastfeeding while sick, you should avoid cold medicine with the high content of alcohol as well. In fact, such medication will take the same effect with drinking wine/beer while breastfeeding. The drugs to avoid may comprise of nighttime relief medicine which causes drowsiness.

Besides, you can limit the exposure of your baby by using dosages as near the breastfeeding schedule as possible. For instance, you should feed the baby prior to a dose, then avoid for three hours after one dose? Also, the cold medications with the extra strength which only require two dosages or less a day may take more severe effect to the infant as they remain in the milk supply and bloodstream longer than others.

Is it safe to take cold medicine while breastfeeding?

In fact, there are several cold medications which are indeed safe for you to take, even when you are breastfeeding. However, you should be careful as cold medicines usually combine some drugs in the form of pill or liquid. To limit the exposure of your baby, avoid products which tackle two symptoms together or list two or more active ingredients.

What Cold Medicine Can I Take While Breastfeeding?

There are a plenty of safe decongestants for breastfeeding. Some normal types of our cold medicine while breastfeeding list may include:


There are only about 1% of pseudoephedrine which is the most popularly used one, ending up finally in the breast milk. As it works on the basis of constricting the blood vessels, this cold medicine may restrict your necessary blood flow for the process of milk production. So, pseudoephedrine can reduce the breast milk production. However, this matter has not yet been proven. The production of your breast milk is hard to be affected by pseudoephedrine when you have the well-established breastfeeding process for at least one month.


Secondly, this cold medicine has been used to suppress a cough with no adverse impact for a long time. So, it is safe cold medicine while breastfeeding. If you are facing to a nagging cough, dextromethorphan is a considerable option.


An antihistamine which also treats allergies is the cold medicine safe for breastfeeding. But remember that its first generation such as Benadryl or diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine may potentially cause the sedation in the baby. As its second and its third generation medicine such as Claritin and Allegra may not.

Phenylephedrine and pseudoephedrine

Phenylephedrine and pseudoephedrine are the oral decongestants to treat the nasal congestion which was caused by sinus infections, colds, and allergies. They are both common cold medicine breastfeeding by constricting blood vessels located in the sinuses and nose. This way helps open up your nasal passageway and improves breathing. But decongestants can also affect other parts of the body. These medications can constrict blood vessels in the breasts and reduce blood flow needed for milk production.

Other medications

The severity of Cold symptom varies, ranging from a sore throat to body aches. Some pain relievers such as naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are safe choices while breastfeeding. In the case of not using them to treat a sore throat, it will take you longer time but avoid the lozenges symptoms.

Sometimes, allergy symptoms accompany the cold. Even though antihistamines are safe when breastfeeding, a few of allergy medications may cause drowsiness. Last but not least, stay away of aspirin as your baby may suffer the same consequence with taking aspirin during pregnancy.

How Is the Exposure of the Baby if You Use Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding?

It is excellent if you are aware of the way the cold medicine affect infants. In fact, some babies are not bothered by the medication traces in the milk supply, yet decongestants properly cause restlessness and irritability in babies.  So, you should relieve the congestion with the spray decongestant and skip the oral treatment if you do not want to create problems with the milk flow.

Natural and Home Cold Remedies

We have to affirm that there is no particular cure for common cold, yet medications may take effects to help you better. The thing is drugs are not your only option to improve the symptoms. For anyone who does not feel comfortable with cold medicine while breastfeeding, there are several natural and home and remedies might assist you.

In order to relieve the congestion naturally, ensure you drink lots of liquids, including:

You may eat the chicken soup which reduces mucus buildup and congestion. Its warmth may ease a scratchy, sore throat. Also, you need to get rest while having a cold. It is rather hard for you to stop all activities completely. However, you limit the activity level and slow down them. In term of exercise, it is advisable to reduce its intensity. Rest indeed may strengthen the immune system as well as assist you to recover faster.

There are a plenty of over-the-counter medications and natural remedies which are compatible well with breastfeeding. You should speak with the doctor for any appropriate and alternative treatments.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: