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OxyContin and Breastfeeding

Clinical studies on OxyContin (oxycodone ER) show that the medication passes through breast milk. Some sources suggest that it is okay to use this drug for pain after childbirth, but OxyContin is not approved for temporary pain (such as postpartum pain). Since each woman's situation is different, however, you should talk to your healthcare provider for more information on breastfeeding while taking OxyContin.

Is Taking OxyContin While Breastfeeding Safe?

OxyContin® (oxycodone ER) passes through breast milk. It has the potential to cause serious problems in a breastfed infant. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before taking OxyContin.

What Does the Research Say?

Oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin) passes through breast milk in humans. There seems to be a large variation in how much oxycodone passes through breast milk in different women. There has been one case of an infant death possibly related to oxycodone use in the breastfeeding mother.
Some sources suggest that it is probably okay to give oxycodone for pain after childbirth but that the medication should be limited once the mother's milk "comes in." However, OxyContin is probably not appropriate for treating postpartum pain. The medication is approved only for long-term, around-the-clock use to treat chronic pain (not for temporary pain, such as postpartum pain). Because OxyContin provides an extended release of oxycodone, it is likely that a breastfed infant would be exposed to a larger dose of oxycodone (compared to short-acting oxycodone products).

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Breastfeeding and OxyContin

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking OxyContin. 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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