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Levothyroxine and Breastfeeding

Although levothyroxine does pass through breast milk, it is unlikely to cause any problems as long as it is used appropriately. In fact, many women who have an untreated thyroid problem may not be able to lactate properly. If you are taking levothyroxine and breastfeeding, it is a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

An Overview of Levothyroxine and Breastfeeding

Levothyroxine sodium does pass through breast milk, although it is unlikely to cause any problems when used appropriately. Even though levothyroxine is considered safe for use during breastfeeding, it is still a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider about taking the medication if you are breastfeeding (or planning to start breastfeeding).
 

Levothyroxine and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Studies have shown that levothyroxine passes through breast milk, just like natural thyroid hormones (levothyroxine is identical to natural thyroid hormones). If your thyroid hormone levels are kept at normal levels, there is no reason to expect that levothyroxine would cause any problems during breastfeeding.
 
In fact, women with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may not be capable of lactating properly unless they are treated, whether with levothyroxine or other forms of thyroid replacement.
 
Sometimes infants are born with thyroid problems. Only a small amount of levothyroxine passes through breast milk, which is not enough to treat an underactive thyroid in an infant. Instead, the infant must be treated directly.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Levothyroxine and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about levothyroxine and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you. In general, levothyroxine is considered safe for women who are breastfeeding and for their infants.
 
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