I take hydrocodone for stress/migraine headaches. I am currently breastfeeding my 6 week old son. My doctor told me to go ahead and breastfeed, and then take one or two tablets depending on how bad the pain is. I am wondering how long the medicine stays in my system? I don’t want my baby to get any of it but I know that whatever I eat or drink goes through my breast milk. They reassure me that it is safe to take these but does my baby also get it? Courtney.
You didn't mention how often your headaches come; assuming they are only once a week or so hydrocodone with acetaminophen might be all right since they both have short half lives, which means that they leave the body pretty quickly. Therefore, if you just breast-fed (at least four to six hours after the last dose), that would mean there was very little medication left in your milk. The same would be true for migraine specific medications like triptans, especially Imitrex. I have done this successfully with a number of breast-feeding Migraineurs. The long and the short of it is, there will be some medication left in breast milk, even with short acting medications.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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Published On: June 18, 2007