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Starting Suboxone

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  • Starting Suboxone

    After 7 years of being free of heroin I messed up and relapsed. I have a 4 month old baby and had been exclusively breastfeeding until the relapse. It has been 3 weeks of use and I have been pumping and dumping this whole time because I want the option. I am starting Suboxone on Thursday and am wondering if it will be safe to resume breastfeeding. My son has not been exposed to opiates in the womb or out so will the Suboxone cause him to be dependent? Should I just give up breastfeeding all together or do the benefits outweigh the risk?

  • #2

    Heroin is rated an L5-limited data-hazardous. We do not recommend breastfeeding with continued use. Wait about 12-24 hours to nurse after your last use.

    Suboxone is rated an L3-limited data-probably compatible. The amount that transfers into breast milk is 0.13-2.52% of your dose. We think the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of this medication. Monitor for sedation, slowed breathing rate/apnea, pallor, constipation and not waking to feed/poor feeding. Very little of the suboxone transfers into breast milk, however we do recommend weaning your infant slowly when you decide to stop breastfeeding so that your infant does not have any withdrawal symptoms.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center