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Suboxone and Breastfeeding

According to the manufacturer's recommendations for Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), breastfeeding women should not use this drug. Research has shown that the buprenorphine component of Suboxone does pass through breast milk and may cause potentially serious breathing problems in a nursing infant. If you do nurse while using this drug, watch for unusual drowsiness, difficulty feeding, or other signs of problems in your infant.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Suboxone?

Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone) is a prescription medication used to treat opioid dependence. This medication passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that women should not breastfeed while using this medication. If you are nursing or planning to start, talk to your healthcare provider before using Suboxone.

More Information on Suboxone and Breastfeeding

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient of Suboxone, has been shown to pass through breast milk in small amounts. In addition, buprenorphine is not absorbed well when swallowed, which is why it is usually injected, taken as a sublingual "under-the-tongue" tablet or film, or used as a skin patch. Therefore, it would be unlikely that a breastfed infant would be exposed to large amounts of the drug through breast milk. Nonetheless, because of the potentially serious risk for breathing problems due to Suboxone, it is safest to not breastfeed while using this drug.
Naloxone, the other component of the drug, is not absorbed well into the bloodstream when swallowed and is not expected to cause problems for a breastfed infant.
If your healthcare provider suggests that you use Suboxone while nursing, watch for any potential warning signs of problems in your infant, including:
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Slow or irregular breathing.


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