Cold remedy question

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Cold remedy question
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 12:01pm
So the whole household has an icky monster cold :-(. Dr said DDs ears and lungs are clear, she just has a super runny nose and dry cough that can hang around for a month! She is pretty much under control with symptoms. The problem is me. I nurse/cuddle her to sleep and my coughing is waking her up when she's almost ready to get in the crib. Most times I'd startle her awake three times before I get lucky. I'm popping halls One after the other and they work for a bit but then I have a huge coughing fit which sets us back big time. I tried benylin as reccomended by a pharmacist but it doesnt work as well as the halls. I have generic Tylenol cold which works well for me but I want to check if it's safe to take. It contains: pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, dextromethorpan hydrobromide, acetaminophen and the nighttime contains chlorpheniramine maleate. I heard that the biggest problem with cold remedies is lowering supply. If I just take one dose before naptime and another before bedtime (so I can sleep too as well as do bedtime for DD) for a few days will that hurt my supply badly? DDis 11 months and nurses a minimum of five times (usually more like seven) in 24 hrs and has two small meals a day (finger foods usually). With the cold she's eating very little and nursing more.
Community Leader
Registered: 06-10-2008
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 2:56pm
I'm sorry you're feeling so poorly!! This link is a good place to start with regards to cold remedies:

Acetaminophen is lactation category L1 (safest).
Dextromethorphan is lactation category L1 (safest) as well.
Chlorpheniramine is lactation category L3 (moderately safe). Hale says "Although no data is available on secretion into breastmilk, it has not been reported to produce side effects."

The one to be more careful of is pseudoephredine. Although there's no concern about side effects on the baby, some moms do find that this reduces milk supply, sometimes significantly. I will tell you that I personally did take this several times during nursing with no reduction in supply, I'm not sure I would have made that choice if I were struggling for supply at all. Decongestants containing phenylephrine (the PE varieties) typically don't have that same concern but they typically don't work as well either.

I hope that helps. Please let us know what other questions you might have.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 3:20pm
Thank you so much! I will definitely skip the nighttime pills to avoid the L3 drug. I did have low supply when I was EPing but since DD started nursing I've definitely met her needs (diapers and weight gain). I think I'll try a dose or half a dose of the daytime pills tonight unless I feel better by then. Even if I can take them and rest every other night, it will still be helpful. I'll keep a close eye on diapers if I do try it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Wed, 03-07-2012 - 1:14pm

At night you can try benadryl, which is perfectly safe and doesn't lower your supply, and/or saline nasal spray. I haven't taken Sudafed in ages because of the concerns about supply and I seem to get by okay.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Thu, 03-08-2012 - 5:12pm
I will keep Benadryl in mind. For the time being, I seem to be on the mend. I had a great night's sleep (couple of nursings overnight) and am feeling human again. DD is still sick too but getting her energy back. My mom moved some work shifts around to help me during the day and DH has been his usual involved self after work. Hopefully we just keep getting better :-)

Thanks for the help