Amoxicillin During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on April 20, 2012

Can pregnant women take amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin falls under Pregnancy Category B of the FDA which means that this drug is not known to cause adverse effects during pregnancy.  Although its full effects on pregnancy are still inconclusive. Drugs falling in Category B are those that have shown no significant harm on the fetus of animal samples but have not been fully studied in pregnant humans.

Clinical trials using animal samples show that amoxicillin did not result in any problems when used during pregnancy. Some clinical studies conducted on humans suggest that traces of amoxicillin crosses the placenta but does not seem to cause problems. Although more studies are needed to establish conclusive findings, several surveys and case reports reveal that this medication does not increase the risk for congenital problems as well as miscarriages.

But since there is a lack of adequate and systematic studies on pregnant women, it is possible for negative effects to happen due to use of amoxicillin during pregnancy. Therefore, amoxicillin should be given to a pregnant patient only if the physician believes that the perceived benefits outweigh the potential risks to the pregnancy and the unborn child.

To avoid potential problems associated with fetal exposure to amoxicillin, be sure to inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or any plans of becoming pregnant before starting with this medication. Your healthcare provider will consider the benefits and the risks of using amoxicillin during pregnancy before finally prescribing this medication.

Can breastfeeding women take amoxicillin?

In general, the use of amoxicillin during breastfeeding is considered safe. Although clinical studies suggest that amoxicillin can be passed through the breast milk of the woman, this does not predispose the infant to any potential health risks. As a matter of fact, amoxicillin can be used in the treatment of infections in very young infants.

However, amoxicillin is known to cause few potential problems when taken by newborns or neonates. Amoxicillin works just like other antibiotics, such that it can affect even the “good” bacteria. Taking in high levels of amoxicillin through the breast milk can cause some problems in the infant such as diarrhea and thrush. In addition, amoxicillin belongs to the penicillin group of antibiotics which are notorious for causing allergic reactions.

It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider the possible side effects of amoxicillin to your nursing infant. Talk with your physician about amoxicillin and breastfeeding before taking this drug. Your physician is in the best position to guide you about the use of amoxicillin while breastfeeding. Take note that every woman may have a different situation and that use of this drug depends on you and your healthcare provider’s shared decision.

Overall, amoxicillin should be safe for use by women who are breastfeeding as well as their nursing infants.