According to the manufacturer of Avinza, breastfeeding women should avoid using this medication. Although morphine (the active ingredient in the drug) is often considered to be compatible with breastfeeding, Avinza is not appropriate for most breastfeeding mothers because it is only approved for long-term, daily use to treat chronic pain. Before using Avinza, breastfeeding women should ask their healthcare providers about the potential risks.
Is Taking Avinza While Breastfeeding Safe?
Avinza® (morphine sulfate ER) passes through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or are considering breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Avinza. The manufacturer of Avinza recommends avoiding this medication while breastfeeding.
What Does the Research Say?
Morphine (the active ingredient of Avinza) passes through breast milk in low amounts. As a narcotic, morphine could cause problems in a nursing infant, such as drowsiness, poor feeding (due to drowsiness or stomach upset), constipation, or even difficulty breathing. Despite these potential problems, morphine is often considered to be compatible with breastfeeding, especially in the immediate postpartum period (right after birth).
Even though morphine is often considered to be compatible with breastfeeding, Avinza is not appropriate for most breastfeeding mothers. Avinza is approved only for long-term, daily use to treat chronic pain. It should not be used to treat pain related to childbirth. Because Avinza provides a continuous release of morphine, it is likely that a breastfed infant would be exposed to a larger dose of morphine (compared to short-acting morphine products).
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Avinza and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Avinza and breastfeeding. 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 about Avinza and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avinza [package insert]. Bristol, TN: King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2008 April.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed July 24, 2008.
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