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Local Pharmacy Chain Says Proper Medication Intake During Breastfeeding Is Essential

Breast milk naturally comes with nutrition that can protect against diseases and potentially allow infants to acquire antibodies.

Alpro Pharmacy Moms & Babies specialty pharmacist Eugenne Teo Ying Hui. Photo courtesy of Alpro Pharmacy.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 29, 2022 – In conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7, 2022, Alpro Pharmacy is reminding new parents, especially breastfeeding mothers, of the importance of proper medication and supplement intake during the breastfeeding phase.

“Breastfeeding mothers must take note of these guidelines as minute mistakes in medicine intake during the breastfeeding period are hazardous to the baby and the mother,” Alpro Pharmacy Moms & Babies specialty pharmacist Eugenne Teo Ying Hui said. 

She said one should always consult a doctor or a pharmacist to ensure their medicine and supplement intake are suitable.

According to the Ministry of Health, prescription and over-the-counter medications applied to the skin, eyes, or nose or inhaled, such as drugs for asthma and those commonly prescribed to infants, are safe while breastfeeding. But it can vary depending on the trimester and the breastfeeding period.

Alpro maintained that it follows the Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Medicines Guide (PBMG) by the Royal Women’s Hospital in Australia, which emphasises five categories of medicines during this period classified by the FDA:

  • Category A: No risk found in human studies. For example: Paracetamol, Diphenhydramine.
  • Category B: No risk found in animal studies (insufficient studies in humans). For example: Cetirizine, Domperidone.
  • Category C: Risk cannot be ruled out. There have been no conclusive studies in pregnant women, but animal studies have indicated a risk to the foetus. For example: Ibuprofen, Promethazine.
  • Category D: Evidence of risk (proven studies have indicated a risk to the foetus). For example: Albendazole, Fluconazole.
  • Category X: Contraindicated (proven studies in pregnant women have indicated a risk to the foetus and can lead to foetal abnormalities). For example: Isotretinoin.

There has been an acute spike of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, but based on current research on women infected with Covid-19, by the American Society of Breastfeeding Physicians, the virus had not been detected in breast milk, said Eugenne.

Breast milk naturally comes with nutrition that can protect against diseases and potentially allow infants to acquire antibodies, she said, adding that breastfeeding mothers should not skip their medication as doing so presents a greater risk to the health of the mother and the foetus.

“Breastfeeding mothers are advised to seek alternative medication from a doctor or pharmacist who can weigh the pros and cons of the medication against any dangers to their infants,” she said.

Alpro will host online webinars on the motherhood journey for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers on August  6 and 20. Registration is currently open and will end on August 5, 2022. To reserve your seat, click here.

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