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Breastfeeding & Ritalin

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  • Breastfeeding & Ritalin

    Posted by Reyvenisis,

    Before I got pregnant I was taking 10mg of methylphenid as needed. Usually I took this when taking while in class, studying, homework or other unrelated activities requiring my full attention. I am now working on my second degree and a new parent of a 4 mth old which I exclusively breastfeed. I have been trying to keep up with school (6 classes) this semester as have had a horrible experience just trying to focus, retain all the information, and keep my grades up. I need to get back on my medication for ADD desperately and this would strictly be during the time that I am working on my studies.

    I currently feed my baby for about 5 minutes every 1-2 hours and on days that I pump and bottle feed he will consume 3-4oz and be ready for his next feeding about 4 hours later.

    Just to be well informed I have several questions:

    -How much of a dose actually filters into breastmilk?

    -I read in another thread that the highest amount is likely in the breastmilk at about 1-3 hours after the dose is taken, is this correct?

    -If I take a dose which is good for 4 hours, will I need to pump and throw away the milk or is this something that as time passes also clears out of your system and breastmilk? If so, when do you recommend is best after dose to pump and dispense?

    -What should I be concerned about or look out for in my son while taking this medication?
    I appreciate any advice you may have.
    Thanks in advance for your time.

  • #2
    Dear Reyvenisis,

    Only minimal amounts of methylphenidate (Ritalin) enter breastmilk and you are on a low dose of 10 mg daily. The time the medication would be highest in your breastmilk would be the first three hours after your dose so avoid breastfeeding during that time, if possible. If you are breastfeeding four hours after your dose, half of the medication should already have been eliminated from your system. Clinical symptoms in your infant would be unexpected, but observe for nervousness, decreased weight gain and insomnia. You do not have to pump and discard just wait the three hours to avoid the time of highest concentration. If you have further questions, call the InfantRisk Center at 806-352-2519. We are open Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, CDT.

    Cindy Pride, MSN, CPNP
    TTUHSC InfantRisk Center
    Last edited by cpride; 04-25-2013, 08:50 AM.


    • #3
      I am taking 5-10 mg of Ritalin and my baby (12 weeks) feeds every 3 hours. I was feeding her at the 3 hour mark, however I just learned that I was feeding her at the highest concentration. So, when should I take it to avoid giving her the highest concentration in my breast milk? Also she has had extra odorous bowel movements and stomach cramping, could this be from the medicine I'm taking? She also seems to be up then crashing, but not having trouble sleeping or eating, could this crash be a result of the Ritalin I'm taking?


      • #4
        Dear Samsmom,

        The time when Methylphenidate (Ritalin) would be the highest in your breastmilk is the first three hour after your dose, avoid nursing during that time. If possible I would suggest waiting four hours after your dose, by that time half of the medication should be eliminated from your system.

        This medication has a small RID (relative infant dose) of 0.2-0.4%. No adverse effects were noted in any of the infants studied. Although clinical symptoms are not expected, I would suggest you observe your infant for agitation, reduced weight gain, and insomnia. If your infant has any other symptoms it is very unlikely that they are from this medication, i suggest you talk to your pediatrician. If you have any further questions, call the InfantRisk Center at 806-352-2519. We are open Monday through Friday, 8 to 5.

        Tassneem Abdel Karim MD
        InfantRisk Center


        • #5
          further questios

          Thank you for responding to my original posts, I have called but there were a few questions that I still don't feel like have been answered.
          1. I know it would be best to feed at 4 hours, however is there more risk of the baby receiving more of my dose 30 min to an hour after I take it or at 3 hours and 15-30 minutes?
          2. When you say there were no adverse effects noted in the infants studied, how old were the infants? what did they weigh? when were the doses of ritalin administrated? Is there anywhere I can read these studies?
          Thank you again