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Oramorph and Breastfeeding

According to the manufacturer's recommendations for Oramorph SR (morphine sulfate ER), breastfeeding women should not take this drug. Research has shown that the morphine component in the drug does pass through breast milk and may cause potentially serious complications in a breastfed infant. Also, Oramorph SR is only approved for long-term chronic pain and should not be used for short-term pain related to childbirth.

Oramorph and Breastfeeding: An Overview

Oramorph® SR (morphine sulfate ER) does pass through breast milk. Due to the potential risks, the manufacturer does not recommend that women use this medication while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding a child, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Oramorph SR.

Is It Safe to Take Oramorph When Breastfeeding?

Morphine (the active ingredient of Oramorph SR) passes through breast milk in low amounts. If the breastfed infant is exposed to a significant amount of morphine, potentially serious problems could occur. Possible problems could include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor feeding (due to drowsiness or stomach upset)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty breathing.
A breastfed infant could also experience withdrawal symptoms when the morphine is stopped (see Oramorph Withdrawal). Despite these potential problems, morphine is often considered compatible with breastfeeding, especially in the immediate postpartum period (right after the baby is born).
Even though morphine is often considered compatible with breastfeeding, Oramorph SR is not appropriate for most breastfeeding mothers. This drug is only approved for long-term, around-the-clock use to treat long-lasting pain. It should not be used for short-term pain, such as most pain related to childbirth. Because Oramorph SR provides an extended 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.
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Oramorph SR Drug Information

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