What Are Side Effects of Antimalarial Drugs While Breastfeeding?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

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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