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Use of Excedrin while breastfeeding

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  • Use of Excedrin while breastfeeding

    I had a call from a mom of a 5 month old. She states that the only thing that helps her headaches is Excedrin. She was concerned about its use since she had read to avoid aspirin during breastfeeding. I read about Aspirin as an L3 drug and suggested that her use was probably OK for her baby, since she only takes it 1-2 times/day, at most about 3 days/week. Any other thoughts?

  • #2

    Excederin is rated an L2-limited data-probably compatible. The amount transferred into breast milk is 2.5-10.8% of moms dose. [COLOR=#333333][FONT=lucida grande]Aspirin is almost completely gone in 2 hours after an oral dose. A brief wait of 2-3 hours after administration would virtually eliminate all aspirin transfer to milk. We do recommend if the infant has a known viral illness such as the flu or chickenpox to wait 24 hours after a dose or do not take the aspirin product. I hope this helps. Thanks,

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center


    • #3
      I have to take Excedrin for my awful headaches, After I don't breastfeed about 7-8 hours.
      Next week my daughter should have her chickenpox shot (vaccination) with MMR. During this period I would better not to take aspirin containing pills at all? If yes how long? 2 weeks? 3 weeks? If I take it I should not nurse for 24hours?
      Thank you.
      Last edited by Lus; 05-11-2017, 10:42 PM.


      • #4

        Limited to no aspirin gets into human milk. We've just published a paper on this. However, it would obviously depend on the dose. Just to be safe, I'd suggest you withhold breastfeeding for 12 hours after large doses of aspirin such as 500 mg total aspirin.

        Tom Hale Ph.D.


        • #5
          Thank you Tom,
          Would be interesting to read. where can I see the published paper?


          • #6
            Send to ([url][/url])

            J Hum Lact. ([url][/url]) 2017 May;33(2):296-299. doi: 10.1177/0890334417695207. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

            Transfer of Low Dose Aspirin Into Human Milk.



            Aspirin has antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties and is frequently used by pregnant and lactating women. However, its transfer in human milk when administered at low dose has not been reported. Research aim: This study aimed to evaluate the transfer of acetylsalicylic acid and its metabolite, salicylic acid, into human milk following the use of low dose aspirin. METHODS:

            In this study, milk samples were collected at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours from seven breastfeeding women after a steady-state daily dose of 81 mg of aspirin. Milk levels of acetylsalicylic acid and salicylic acid were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. RESULTS:

            Acetylsalicylic acid levels were below the limit of quantification (0.61 ng/ml) in all the milk samples, whereas salicylic acid was detected at very low concentrations. The average concentration of salicylic acid observed was 24 ng/ml and the estimated relative infant dose was 0.4%. CONCLUSION:

            Acetylsalicylic acid transfer into milk is so low that it is undetectable even by highly sophisticated methodology. Salicylic acid does appear in the human milk in comparatively low amounts, which are probably subclinical in infants. Thus, the daily use of an 81-mg dose of aspirin should be considered safe during lactation. KEYWORDS:

            breastfeeding; breastfeeding barriers; human milk; lactation; maternal health; maternal physiology

            PMID: 28418802