The connection between Herceptin and breastfeeding is not clear. Herceptin does appear to pass through breast milk in monkeys, but it is unknown if it passes through human breast milk. However, given the risk of potentially serious side effects, the manufacturer of the drug recommends that women not breastfeed while taking Herceptin, or within six months of stopping the medication.
Herceptin and Breastfeeding: An Overview
It is not known if Herceptin® (trastuzumab) passes through breast milk. Because of the potentially serious side effects that could occur in the nursing infant, the manufacturer of Herceptin recommends that women not breastfeed while taking Herceptin, or within six months of stopping Herceptin. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding.
Herceptin and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Herceptin passes through breast milk in monkeys, but it is unknown if it passes through breast milk in humans. It is also not known what effects the drug could have on a young infant. If your healthcare provider recommends taking Herceptin while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Herceptin and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Herceptin and breastfeeding. Everyone's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about Herceptin and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Herceptin [package insert]. South San Francisco, CA: Genentech, Inc.;2010 October.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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