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Prednisone 40mg and Breastfeeding?

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  • Prednisone 40mg and Breastfeeding?

    Hi Im new to this, I actually have ulcerative colitis I was diagnosed 11 wks ago at 24 wks pregnant. I have been having a really bad flare up and have been in and out of the hospital 3 times in 11 wks. Anyway I am currently taking Lialda twice a day and Prednisone 40mg. My question is if it is ok to take the prednisone 40mg while breastfeeding? My GI Dr. told me on Monday that I wasnt going to be able to nurse because of the prednisone. I have been so stressed out over that, it was the one thing that I was really looking forward to offering my baby for his health and mine. Mostly his. He is my 3rd and Im just trying to figure out anyway I can to still be able to nurse since they cant take me off the Prednisone. If you can help me by giving me any answers I would appreciate it. I have done alot of reading today on different blogs and alot of people say they have successfully breastfed their kids while on 40mg of Prednisone and have had healthy babies. I just want to be sure. Thank you.

  • #2

    Prednisone transfers into milk poorly. About 2-5% of the maternal dose transfers each day. This would be about 1-2 mg of prednisone per day for your infant. This is not insignificant. That said, the major complication would be a decrease in linear bone growth. The pediatrician could watch your infant's height closely to see if it is poor or slower than average. This is about the only thing you could observe for to suggest an effect of this drug. I would urge caution or lower doses of prednisone while breastfeeding.

    Another drug commonly used for this syndrome is azathioprine. Only minimal levels of this drug actually reach the milk compartment (0.06% - 0.26%) and many mothers have successfully breastfed using this drug. You might want to discuss it further with your physician.

    Tom Hale Ph.D.


    • #3
      Thank you so much for the info. I will be sure to discuss the switch from prednisone to Azathioprine on Wednesday when I go see my GI. Thank you so much.