We know that breastfeeding moms have lots of questions about milk, breastfeeding, and medication. In this ongoing series, “Know Your Meds,” we’ll include information and research on a variety of medications so that you can make informed and safe decisions during your breastfeeding journey. This post covers Zyrtec and breastfeeding, and addresses the decisions you’ll be weighing when deciding whether or not to take this allergy and congestion medication.
Is Zyrtec While Breastfeeding Safe?
The Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University categorizes Zyrtec (also known as cetirizine) and other non-sedating antihistamines as a likely “better choice” for breastfeeding mothers for the treatment of allergies and sinus congestion than antihistamines with sedating side effects. The ingredients of Zyrtec are generally thought to be safe for breastfeeding dyads.
According to the LactMed drug and lactation database, “small occasional doses of cetirizine are probably acceptable during breastfeeding.” The database goes on to state that “larger doses or more prolonged use may cause drowsiness and other effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a [medication] such as pseudoephedrine [also known as Suphedrine] or before lactation is well established.”
KellyMom offers a variety of resources to help you know whether or not a medication is safe for a breastfeeding mother, including the following questions to ask when considering a medication:
- Does the mother need this medication right now, or is it something she can easily postpone until the baby is older?
- How old is the breastfeeding child?
- Is the breastfeeding child healthy?
- Is the medication in question one with a record of being safely given directly to babies and young children?
According to the experts on medication and human milk, Zyrtec is likely safe for use while breastfeeding. If you have questions about using Zyrtec while breastfeeding, you can call the Infant Risk Center at 1-806-352-2519 or speak with your physician or other relevant care provider.