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Ceritizine and breastfeeding?

I have problems with allergies (pollens and physically touching some grasses and evergreens) and was given the okay by my docs to take ceritizine (Zyrtec) while pregnant so that I wouldn't be miserable and also so I wouldn't scratch myself to point of bleeding. But I read on the insert that it's not safe to use while breastfeeding. Why is that? How can it be okay during pregnancy, but not during breastfeeding? During pregnancy, the blood that is dosed is going straight into the baby, isn't it?

And what alternatives are there for during breastfeeding? I plan on talking to my doctor, but it'll be another month before I go back in. I can't do Benadryl because it makes me so dizzy I fall down.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:39 PM on Mar. 15, 2010 in Health

Answers (4)
  • Zyrtec IS safe. If you can take it pregnant,. you can take it nursing. The package warnings are legal CYA. (My prenatals said they were not to be taken by pregnant women. BIG credibility problem there...I don't read the inserts beyond dosage anymore.)

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:42 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Here's the Lact-Med info from the National Institutes of Health:

    Summary of Use during Lactation:
    Small occasional doses of cetirizine are probably acceptable during breastfeeding. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause drowsiness and other effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic or before lactation is well established. The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommends cetirizine at its lowest dose as a preferred choice if an antihistamine is required during breastfeeding.[1]

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:43 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • gdiamante, thank you! It kind of freaked me out because Zyrtec is one of the few allergy meds that actually work for me, and it's completely covered by my insurance too. Are all class B meds labeled like that? I ask because I have another med that is a class A that says it's safe for pregnancy and shouldn't cause harm while breastfeeding.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:45 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • From the information I gathered, it appears that about 3% can pass through breast milk- which is pretty high, and prolonged daily use can cause a decrease in milk production. None of the research is particularly conclusive- I'm hesitant to take the manufacturers too seriously because they re probably trying to cover their butts- but I myself am torn between that and that while my doc (nurse prac) prescribed it- alot of docs don't focus too much on breast-feeding. I'd say be cautious.

    Answer by Bella_Madre at 2:43 PM on Apr. 25, 2010

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