No studies have been done to determine whether it is safe to take Nitrostat (nitroglycerin tablets) while nursing. It is believed that if the drug did pass through breast milk, it might cause headaches and low blood pressure in a nursing infant. Prior to using Nitrostat while breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits.
Can Breastfeeding Women Use Nitrostat?
At this time, it is unknown if Nitrostat® (nitroglycerin tablets) passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, you should talk with your healthcare provider before using Nitrostat. The manufacturer recommends that women use this drug with caution while breastfeeding.
More Information on Nitrostat and Breastfeeding
No research has been done to see if Nitrostat passes through breast milk. This lack of research likely reflects the fact that Nitrostat is approved to treat chest pain (angina) due to coronary artery disease, a condition that is quite rare in young women.
Based on the known actions and side effects of Nitrostat, if the drug does pass through breast milk, it is reasonable to expect that it could cause low blood pressure (hypotension) and headaches in the infant.
Nitroglycerin ointment (Nitro-Bid®, Rectiv™) is sometimes used to treat anal fissures. In one study of 40 breastfeeding women who used nitroglycerin ointment to treat anal fissures, no problems were seen in the babies. It is unclear if Nitrostat would be similarly safe.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding and Nitrostat use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Nitrostat [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2010 January.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed May 17, 2011.
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