What Are Side Effects of Antimalarial Drugs While Breastfeeding?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

I am breastfeeding and will be visiting Africa soon. I have been told that I need to take a drug against malaria. Will that be bad for my baby?

Doctor's response

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) recommends that you "Take Your Antimalarial While Breastfeeding."

The CDC states further that: "If you are breastfeeding, a very small amount of antimalarial will be passed into your breast milk. This small amount of drug will neither harm your infant nor be enough to protect him or her against malaria. Infants need to be given their own antimalarial medicine. Recommended antimalarial dosages for infants and children are listed in fax document number 380012 and at http:\\www.cdc.gov\travel\mal_kids_pub.htm."

Carolyn Janet Crandall, M.D.
Editor:   William Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018