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Methimazole and Breastfeeding

There is some controversy over whether it's safe for breastfeeding women to take methimazole (Tapazole). Although the prescribing information recommends women not breastfeed while taking this drug, many healthcare providers are comfortable giving it to their breastfeeding patients, as long as the infant is monitored for any problems.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Methimazole?

Methimazole (Tapazole®) passes through breast milk in humans. While the prescribing information for this drug clearly states that women should never breastfeed while taking it, other reliable sources state that methimazole is compatible with breastfeeding.
 

Important Information on Methimazole and Breastfeeding

Some studies have suggested that taking up to 20 mg of methimazole during breastfeeding does not affect thyroid function or intellectual development in the nursing child. It is unknown if higher doses are safe for use while breastfeeding.
 
Taking a methimazole dosage just after a feeding and waiting three or four hours before another feeding may reduce the infant's exposure to this medication, although this is not ideal for newborns, who typically feed more often.
 
Many healthcare providers feel comfortable prescribing methimazole during breastfeeding, provided that the infant is appropriately monitored, especially for rare but serious side effects of methimazole, such as low blood cell counts.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and methimazole with your healthcare provider. 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.
 
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Methimazole Medication Information

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