Prednisone and nursing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone here know anything about prednisone and its effects (or lack thereof) on nursing? The baby in question is 3 months old and has not yet been exposed to the medication, nor any other medications.

It is quite literally a life and death situation, if I do not take prednisone starting tomorrow morning I will not survive. The baby is exclusively breastfeeding.

Thank you.
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#2 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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I only have 1 drug book and it's not Hale's (it's for general nursing) and all it says re: prednisone and bf is that it is contraindicated for chronic use in bf women and should be for short-term therapy only.

HTH
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#3 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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Prednisone is on the AAPs list of drugs accepted for use in nursing mothers. I'll have to go look up Hale (if I can find mine) but I do have a friend who has rheumatoid arthritis and I know for a fact that she bf all four of her kids, including a set of twins, while taking prednisone to control her RA. It's unfortunate, but sometimes prednisone is the only option for some conditions. Fortunately, it looks like you'll be able to take it. More if I can find my Hale...
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#4 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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OK, that didn't take as long as I thought to find it.

Hale lists it as category L2. It says in small doses most steroids are certainly not contraindicated in nursing mothers. Whenever possible use low-dose alternatives such as aerosols or inhalers. Following administration, wait at least 4 hrs if possible prior to feeding infant to reduce exposure. With high doese, particularly for longer periods, steroids could potentially produce problems in infants. Brief applications of high dose steroids are probably not contraindicated as the overall exposure is low.

OK, so that was the direct quote of the summary. It sounds to me like if you really need it, you can take it in high doses for short term or low doses for long term.

Is there an LC here who can give a better perspective on this? You could also try searching the archives of Lactnet.

Hth. Good luck mama! s
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#5 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I had to take about 40mg/day during the first 1-3 months (can't remember when I switched to a lower dose) of DD2's life and was told that it was fine - not great, but to trust in the filtering system of the breast. I tried to take it after she nursed in the AM and I went down to the lowest dose I could ASAP (about 20 mg/day). I was given different opinions about it, but it was a neccessity.

DD2 is fine, BTW!
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#6 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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I have a pinched nerve that requires short bursts of steroids once per month. I've done two regimens of Methylprednisone (6 days - medrol dosepak) and had two shots of Decadron - a corticosteroid (dexamethasone) and from a purely anectodal standpoint, my nursling is just fine.

My doctor is very cautious about BFing and drugs, he is very conservative about prescribing while I nurse. For example, the reason we're doing steroid bursts for the nerve is because he won't give me anti-inflammatories until I wean. He has been treating me since I was a pedi patient of his, and I trust him implicitly.

HTH!

Mama to H (6) B (3) : A (1)
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#7 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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I have MS, and if I have an attack while nursing I will take Prednisone and continue to nurse. However, I know people who weaned over it... but they're the sort who would anyway
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#8 of 10 Old 02-23-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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I had a horrible rash when DD was only 10 days old -- it was spreading all over my body and when it was clear that it wasn't getting any better the dr. prescribed a 5-day course of prednisone. My m/w and my LC both told me it was fine.

Hope all is well...
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#9 of 10 Old 02-24-2007, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much.

I have a blood disorder which was in remission but has come back with a vengeance. This is something which can literally kill me quite rapidly and painlessly. I'm at a critical point right now, didn't even realize that I was this bad. The only reason that I'm not in the hospital getting multiple transfusions is that I insisted on keeping my baby with me and they had no provision for that (lame). Too bad. If I'm conscious, he is with me. Period.

Anyway, the only real treatment option is to give me very high doses of Prednisone and watch my blood carefully as they take the dose down (right now I'm at 60 mg/day) to get me off of it as quickly as possible.

I'm worried about the effects it may have on the baby, but I'm glad to hear that there seems to be no negative effect on my supply. I can't see weaning him over this at all. I mean, formula is made from milk of cows who are given all kinds of steroids, abx, and on and on and on, right?

I have 5 kids, the oldest 20 years old, and have never had a bottle, pump or paci in my house (not being judgemental to those who make those choices), it would be so hard for me to have to go that route at all. I absolutely would if needed of course, but it would have to really be necessary.
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#10 of 10 Old 02-24-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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I had to take prednisone while nursing my 4th as a young nursling. Though not as critical as your situation, I was in the midst of a months long asthma situation and my doctor told me you can't nurse if you are dead. I continued nursing with no problems.

Good luck.
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