Some studies have shown that quinine (Qualaquin) does pass through breast milk in small amounts. However, it is generally considered safe to use this drug while nursing, as the amount of quinine that passes through the breast milk is probably too small to cause problems. It is important to not take quinine while breastfeeding if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Is Quinine Safe While Breastfeeding?
Studies have shown that quinine sulfate (Qualaquin®) passes through breast milk in small amounts. The manufacturer of Qualaquin recommends that women use this drug with caution while nursing. If you are breastfeeding a child, talk with your healthcare provider before taking quinine.
More Information on Breastfeeding and Quinine
Small studies have shown that small amounts of quinine pass into breast milk. However, it is believed that the amount that passes into breast milk is too small to cause problems in a nursing child. In one small study, when quinine was given to breastfeeding mothers, no problems were seen in the nursing infants. In general, quinine is considered safe for use while breastfeeding.
Because quinine should not be used in people with a condition known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, infants who have this condition should not breastfeed if their mother is using quinine. Infants at risk for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency should also not be breastfed until it is known they do not have the condition.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and quinine with your healthcare provider. 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.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Qualaquin [package insert]. Philadelphia, PA: AR Scientific, Inc.;2010 June.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
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 September 1, 2010.
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