Hypertension Home > Clonidine and Breastfeeding

Studies on breastfeeding and clonidine have shown that the drug passes through breast milk. It is possible that serious problems (such as a dangerously low heart rate or low blood pressure) could occur in the nursing infant. Before taking clonidine, nursing mothers should first talk to their healthcare providers about the potential risks.

Is Clonidine Safe for Breastfeeding Women?

Clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres®, Catapres-TTS®, Duraclon®, Kapvay™, Nexiclon® XR) passes through breast milk in humans. It is a prescription medication that can lower both blood pressure and heart rate. This drug could potentially cause problems in a breastfed infant. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking clonidine if you are nursing or plan to start.
 

Clonidine and Breastfeeding Research

Studies have shown that clonidine passes through breast milk. In some cases, significant amounts of the medication were found in the blood of breastfeeding infants (enough to possibly cause side effects). It is possible that serious problems (such as a dangerously low heart rate or low blood pressure) could occur in the breastfed infant. Therefore, if your healthcare provider decides that it is okay for you to take this drug while breastfeeding, your infant should be monitored to make sure that no serious problems occur.
 
Clonidine affects certain hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) involved with breastfeeding in complex ways (and in different ways at different dosages). At this time, it is not possible to predict how clonidine might affect a woman's milk supply.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Breastfeeding and Clonidine

You should talk with your healthcare provider about taking this medicine while nursing. 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 about breastfeeding and clonidine that is right for you.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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