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Darvon and Breastfeeding

Although Darvon (propoxyphene hydrochloride) does pass through breast milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers this drug to typically be compatible with breastfeeding. However, Darvon may potentially cause negative reactions in breastfed infants, such as irregular breathing, drowsiness, and blue skin due to breathing problems.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Darvon?

In November 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew all medications that contain propoxyphene from the market. It has been determined that the risks of propoxyphene outweigh the possible benefits. In particular, the FDA was concerned about the drug's ability to cause serious changes in the heart rhythm, even at normal doses. Pharmacies will no longer sell this medication, and people who take it should stop and ask their healthcare provider for a more suitable pain medication


Darvon® (propoxyphene hydrochloride) passes through breast milk in women. Some sources consider this medication compatible with breastfeeding, while others warn of potential problems. Before taking Darvon, talk with your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or are thinking about breastfeeding.

Potential Problems With Darvon and Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics classifies Darvon as being usually compatible with breastfeeding. However, there have been reports of problems in breastfed infants due to Darvon, such as:
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Limpness
  • Blue skin (indicating breathing problems).
While it is probably fine for most women to take Darvon for pain after delivery, it may be best to switch to a non-narcotic pain reliever once the milk has "come in" (before the milk has come in, only a small amount of the drug is passed to the infant).
Warning: 10 Hidden Sources of Lactose

Darvon Medication Information

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