Which Drugs are Safe for Breastfeeding Mothers?

Hi Dra.

I’m a breastfeeding mom who has cough and colds. What medicine/s can you recommend I take? Nahawa na my new born because the colds and cough have gotten worse already. Thanks!



Dear ABC,

Usually most drugs are safe to take during breastfeeding. This period is not as sensitive as the time when you were pregnant.


Babycenter.com has a complete list of drugs that are safe and NOT safe to take during pregnancy.

I will try to summarize the most basic drugs below.

For your particular case, if you have cough and cold and NO fever, you may start any cough and cold preparation such as Neozep three times a day for cold and Ascof (lagundi) capsules three times a day for cough. Warning: all cold tablets cause drowsiness so be very careful that you don’t doze off and drop your baby or worse, roll over in bed and suffocate your baby.

If cough and colds do not improve after 5-7 days OR your phlegm and mucus turn to yellowish-green OR you start to have a fever, it is time to start an antibiotic. You may take the same drugs that are usually given during pregnancy like Amoxicillin or Cefalexin 500 mg three times a day for 7 days.

If symptoms persist, please, please consult your doctor…


Summary of SAFE drugs during breastfeeding (complete list in Babycenter.com):

Acetaminophen: Used for pain relief

Acyclovir and valacyclovir: Antiviral for herpes infections

Antacids: Used to treat upset stomachs

Bupivacaine: A local anesthetic

Caffeine: A stimulant

Cephalosporins (e.g. Cefalexin): Antibiotics for lung, ear, skin, urinary tract, throat, and bone infections

Clotrimazole: Used to treat yeast and fungal infections

Contraceptives (progestin-ONLY): Used for birth control

Corticosteroids: Used to treat inflammation of joints and other conditions

Decongestant nasal sprays: Used to treat stuffy noses

Digoxin: Used to treat heart problems

Erythromycin: Used for skin and respiratory infections

Fexofenadine: Antihistamine for allergies and hay fever

Fluconazole: Used to treat yeast infections

Heparin: Used to keep blood from clotting

Ibuprofen: Used for pain relief

Inhalers, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids: Used for asthma

Insulin: For diabetes; dosage required may drop up to 25 percent during lactation

Laxatives, bulk-forming and stool softening: Used to treat constipation

Lidocaine: A local anesthetic

Loratadine: Antihistamine for allergies and hay fever

Low molecular weight heparins (enoxaparin, dalteparin, tinzaparin): Anticoagulants

Magnesium sulfate: Used to treat preeclampsia and eclampsia

Methyldopa: Used to treat high blood pressure

Methylergonovine (short courses): Used to prevent or control bleeding after childbirth

Metoprolol: A beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure

Miconazole: Used to treat yeast infections

Nifedipine: Used for high blood pressure and Raynaud’s syndrome of the nipple

Penicillins (e.g. Amoxicillin): Used to treat bacterial infections

Propranolol: A beta blocker used to treat heart problems, and high blood pressure

Theophylline: Used to treat asthma and bronchitis

Tretinoin: Cream used for acne. Avoid contact of cream with infant.

Thyroid replacement: Used to treat thyroid problems

Vaccines (except smallpox and yellow fever)

Vancomycin: An antibiotic

Verapamil: Used for high blood pressure

Warfarin: Used to treat or prevent blood clots

If the drug that you plan to take is not in the list above, please see a doctor to confirm its safety during breastfeeding.

An additional tip for all breastfeeding mothers, especially you ABC. When you feel that you are about to get sick or you feel that you have caught a virus, do NOT stop breastfeeding. You may continue to feed your baby but make sure to wear a face mask and change it 3-4x a day. The cold virus is not spread through the breastmilk but via air droplets. It also helps to drink 2-3 liters of water a day to get the virus out of your system right away.




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  1. Virginia says:

    Hello Dra.

    Mag aapat na taon na kming mgksama nang asawa ko pro hnggang ngaun d prin kmi ngkkaroon ng anak…2yrs ago, I found that I have this called Endometrioma Cyst from my left ovary and I was thinking that, baka isa ito sa mga rasun kng bkit d pa kmi ngkka-anak ng mr. ko…Dra. I am really hoping that you could give me the best advice…Thank You and More Power! :)

    • filipinamd says:

      Dear V.,

      Yes, Endometrial cyst can be the cause of your infertility. Please see a doctor right away because if the doctor catches the cyst while it is still less than 5cms, pwede pang paliitin ang bukol sa paraan ng gamot. Pero kung pabayaan mong lumaki beyond 5-6cms, hindi na tatalab ang gamot at operasyon na ang kailangan.

      Doc D