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  • Oxycodone And Breastfeeding | Is It Safe?

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    pregnant woman reading a prescription pill bottle - Oxycodone And Breastfeeding | Is It Safe?

    It can be dangerous for breastfeeding mothers to take oxycodone. Concentrations of oxycodone may end up in breast milk, and breastfed infants who ingest this type of milk can suffer drowsiness, respiratory depression, sedation, and even death.

    Mothers who need pain relief during the postpartum or post-cesarean section period may be prescribed non-opioid drugs while milk production occurs. Some sources recommend that nursing mothers avoid opioid use entirely until their infant is weaned off of mothers’ milk.

    Infants who ingest opioids through breast milk may require immediate and intensive treatment. Mothers who are struggling with prescription opioid use before, during, and after pregnancy may benefit from a professional addiction treatment program.

    How Much Oxycodone Ends Up In Breast Milk?

    Studies suggest that about 8% of a mother’s oxycodone dose may be transferred to a breastfed infant through the mother’s milk supply. Oxycodone may remain in breast milk for several hours after the last dose, with higher doses lasting longer.

    Studies on oxycodone and acetaminophen products in lactating mothers suggest that nursing infants are more likely to experience adverse effects from oxycodone compared to acetaminophen.

    Data from scientific studies show that oxycodone can be detected in an infant’s bloodstream after breastfeeding. About 20% of infants studied developed central nervous system depression after ingesting milk from a lactating mother taking oxycodone.

    Risks Of Oxycodone Use While Breastfeeding

    Neonates and nursing infants may not have developed the means to metabolize and break down oxycodone. The effects of opioid drugs may be significantly more potent and dangerous in infants compared to adults.

    Infants who ingest oxycodone while breastfeeding may exhibit similar side effects to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a condition where an unborn baby is exposed to habit-forming drugs in the womb. These side effects may include:

    • CNS depression
    • respiratory depression
    • constipation
    • excessive sleepiness
    • changes in heart rate
    • sluggishness

    Mothers who are dependent on oxycodone for pain management may also be at risk for a substance use disorder, which can impair their ability to take care of their children.

    Treatment Options For Oxycodone Use

    Prescription opioids such as oxycodone, tramadol, and codeine may end up in breast milk, and as such may not be recommended for expecting or nursing mothers.

    If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing while taking oxycodone, you may benefit from a treatment program to reduce opioid use patterns and keep your newborn safe.

    Contact us to see if our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs work for you, your loved ones, and your family. We offer detox, withdrawal management, and alternatives for high-risk pain medications with a lower risk for adverse effects.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2022 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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