Although pregnant women are advised to avoid Coumadin, breastfeeding women should be able to safely use this medication. Studies suggest that it does not pass through breast milk in any significant amount, even with a fairly high dosage. If you are taking this drug while breastfeeding, it is important that you are monitored frequently in order to help minimize risks.
An Overview of Breastfeeding and Coumadin
Surprisingly, Coumadin® (warfarin sodium) is usually considered compatible with breastfeeding. This is surprising to many people, as the medication can cause serious, even life-threatening, side effects and is also dangerous for use during pregnancy.
Studies suggest that Coumadin does not pass through breast milk in any significant amount, even with a fairly high dosage (such as 12 mg per day). However, in these studies, some of the breastfed infants had an increased INR (the blood test that measures the drug's effectiveness), suggesting that Coumadin might be having an effect on the infants.
The American Academy of Pediatrics generally considers Coumadin to be compatible with breastfeeding.
If your healthcare provider decides that it is okay for you to take this drug while breastfeeding, it is essential that you are monitored frequently. Even though it might be easy to miss a dose now and then while dealing with the challenges of caring for a newborn, it is absolutely critical to follow your Coumadin dosage instructs carefully. Even though the medication may not pose any significant risks to your breastfed infant, it is still dangerous and could cause life-threatening problems for you.
Of course, be sure to keep Coumadin out of the reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion of this medication could be fatal.
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