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MEDICATIONS AND BREAST-FEEDING: A GUIDE FOR PHARMACISTS, PHARMACY TECHNICIANS, AND OTHER HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS PART II
Frank J Nice, Deborah Deeugenio, Traci A Dimino, Ingrid C Freeny, Marissa B Rovnack, and Joseph S Gromelski

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OBJECTIVE: To provide a guide for practicing pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare professionals so that they are able to counsel and advise breast-feeding mothers and fellow healthcare professionals on the safety and use of common cardiology and general medications during breast-feeding.

DATA SOURCES: Primary texts used by the breast-feeding community (Medications and Mothers ’Milk ,Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation , Drugs and Human Lactation )were searched, as well as Micromedex, MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and EMBASE2 (1984 –February 2004).

STUDY SELECTION/DATA EXTRACTION: Multiple sources were used wherever available to validate the data, and primary articles were used to verify all tertiary source information. Search terms included breast-feeding, lactation, nursing, and medications, as well as specific drug names.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Concerns regarding medication use during breast-feeding have caused mothers to either discontinue nursing or not take necessary medications. Complete avoidance of medications or cessation of breast-feeding is often unnecessary. Although there are drugs that can be harmful to nursing infants, breast milk concentrations of most drugs are insufficient to cause any harm.

CONCLUSIONS: Having objective and reliable information on medications enables pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, healthcare providers, and mothers to make educated decisions regarding drug therapy and breast-feeding.

J Pharm Technol 2004;20:85-95.

ACPE Universal Program Number: 407-000-04-051-H01

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