Pretty sure I'm getting sick/what can I take?

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VCoates's picture
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 05/22/07
Posts: 1055
Pretty sure I'm getting sick/what can I take?

So I'm pretty sure I'm getting sick. My throat has been hurting the past 2 days and I can just feel it in the back of my throat. Happens yearly with me when the seasons change.

What can I take to get rid of this since I'm BFing? I really don't want to do OTC meds but I know there are some herbs and things that will help with this. This crud will usually turn into a sinus infection so I'd like to kick it in the butt before it gets any worse.

Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/21/10
Posts: 529

I actually asked my midwife that very question today as I am sick and have a fever of 101. She said that I could take some of the OTCs but they "may" reduce milk supply and I am not thinking it is worth the risk.

Here is what she said:
Tylenol cold and flu is ok - but there's a possibility that milk supply can decrease with these meds, specifically with phenylephrine. You could also do Tylenol PM (benadryl and tylenol).

Info from Lactmed on Tylenol Cold - Summary of Use during Lactation:
The oral bioavailability of phenylephrine is only about 40%,[1] so the drug is unlikely to reach the infant in large amounts. However, intravenous or oral administration of phenylephrine might decrease milk production. Because no information is available on the use of oral phenylephrine during breastfeeding, an alternate drug may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant.

Phenylephrine nasal spray or ophthalmic drops are less likely to decrease lactation. To substantially diminish the effect of the drug after using eye drops, place pressure over the tear duct by the corner of the eye for 1 minute or more, then remove the excess solution with an absorbent tissue.

Tylenol PM carries the same risk of decreased milk production -

Summary of Use during Lactation:
Small, occasional doses of diphenhydramine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established. Single bedtime doses after the last feeding of the day may be adequate for many women and will minimize any effects of the drug. The nonsedating antihistamines are preferred alternatives.

Drug Levels:
Maternal Levels. One old study that used a biologic assay system reported that after a 100 mg intramuscular dose of diphenhydramine in four women, drug levels in milk were undetectable in two and 42 and 100 mcg/L in two others at one hour after the dose. Five hours after the dose, milk levels were undetectable in two women and 20 and 100 mcg/L in two others.[1] No studies using modern assay methods have been reported.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

I would definitely recommend Vitamin D supplementation, Vitamin C, rest, fluids, careful handwashing, blah blah blah.

You can use Lactmed as a good resource to check on safety of meds with breastfeeding.

joysiloo's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 days ago
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054 is also a great resource. With a lot of cold meds, they aren't sure if the med reduces milk supply or if supply is reduced because the med makes you a little dehydrated. So to be sure, drink tons of water. Hope you feel better!

nmc's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 01/03/11
Posts: 268

Saline nasal spray and/or neti pot to help with congestion. Lots of fluids and rest. I hope you feel better soon!