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Duragesic and Breastfeeding

Due to the potential risks, Duragesic (fentanyl patch) is generally not recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding. Duragesic is known to pass through breast milk and may cause problems in a breastfed infant, including drowsiness, difficulty feeding, and breathing problems. Before using this medication while nursing, make sure to discuss the potential risks with your healthcare provider.

Is Duragesic Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Duragesic® (fentanyl patch) is a long-acting, prescription narcotic pain medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. This medication passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of this drug recommends that women not use Duragesic while nursing.
If you are breastfeeding a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using Duragesic.

More Information on Breastfeeding and Duragesic

Fentanyl, the active ingredient in Duragesic, has been shown to pass through breast milk. Although research suggests that the amount of fentanyl that reaches the breast milk is small after a single dose, Duragesic is approved for the long-term treatment of chronic pain. Because each Duragesic patch provides a continuous release of fentanyl over three days, the levels of this drug in the breast milk would likely be higher with continual Duragesic use.
While there is very little research on the effects of Duragesic in breastfed infants, exposing an infant to this medication may lead to serious problems, such as:
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty feeding (which could lead to problems gaining weight)
  • Breathing problems.
Because of the potential risk for these problems, Duragesic is generally not recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding.
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