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Buprenex and Breastfeeding

Research has shown that the active ingredient in Buprenex (buprenorphine injection) does pass through breast milk in small amounts. However, because this drug is not absorbed well when consumed by mouth, it is unlikely that a breastfed infant would be exposed to a large amount of the drug. Nonetheless, the manufacturer of the drug recommends women not use Buprenex while breastfeeding.

Is Buprenex Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Buprenex® (buprenorphine injection) is an injectable narcotic pain medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe pain. This medication passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that women not receive this medication while nursing.
If you are breastfeeding a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using Buprenex.

More Information on Breastfeeding and Buprenex

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient of Buprenex, has been shown to pass through breast milk in small amounts. However, buprenorphine is not absorbed well when taken by mouth, which is why it is usually injected, taken as a sublingual ("under-the-tongue") tablet, or used as a skin patch. Therefore, it would be unlikely that a breastfed infant would be exposed to large amounts of the drug through breast milk.
If your healthcare provider suggests that you receive Buprenex while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any potential warning signs in your infant. These problems might include unusual drowsiness, difficulty feeding, and slow or irregular breathing. Of course, you could "pump and dump" to be safe, especially if you will be treated with Buprenex for only a short amount of time.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Buprenex use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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Buprenex Injection Information

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