Biaxin: Antibiotic

I was hospitalized with bronchitis and asthma and now have to take six days of prednisone, which is compatible with nursing, but also the antibiotic, Biaxin. Is Biaxin compatible with nursing?

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Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Biaxin, or clarithromycin -- a member of the erythromycin family -- is prescribed to treat a bacterial infection. I wish I could give you a clear yes or no answer on use of this medication during lactation, but at this time there have been no studies regarding Biaxin and human lactation.

Here's what we do know:

  • Biaxin does pass into animal milk. (Generally less than one percent of a maternal medication will find its way into mothers' milk. The concentration of Biaxin in human milk is not yet known.)
  • "This drug is a weak base and could concentrate in human milk by ion trapping" (Hale 1997).
  • The adult half life is five to seven hours, and it peaks in the mother's bloodstream at approximately 1.7 hours following administration. (If you choose to take this medication while nursing, avoid the peak.)
  • Biaxin is used directly to treat children as young as six months of age.

Reference:

Medications and Mothers' Milk, Thomas Hale, R.Ph., Ph.D., 1997

You might want to discuss this with your Pharmacist and Health Care Provider (HCP). If your HCP is not comfortable treating you with this medication while breastfeeding, remind him of the importance of nursing (to you and your baby), and ask him to recommend an alternate medication. Hoping you feel much better shortly. Best wishes for good health!

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