Epilepsy Home > Carbamazepine and Breastfeeding

If you are taking carbamazepine and breastfeeding at the same time, be sure to watch for side effects in your child (such as poor sucking and liver problems). This is important because carbamazepine does pass through breast milk. Due to the serious side effects that could occur in the nursing baby, the manufacturers of carbamazepine do not recommend that women take the drug while breastfeeding.

An Overview of Carbamazepine and Breastfeeding

Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Epitol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®) passes through breast milk. Because of the serious side effects that could occur in the nursing infant, the manufacturers of carbamazepine products do not recommend that women breastfeed while taking carbamazepine. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know (prior to taking carbamazepine) if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding.

What Does the Research Say About Carbamazepine and Breastfeeding?

Carbamazepine passes through breast milk in women. However, healthcare providers often consider carbamazepine to be safe for most women who are breastfeeding and for their infants. Most infants exposed to the drug do not have any side effects -- though there have been reports of drowsiness, poor sucking, and liver problems in breastfed infants whose mothers took carbamazepine. If your healthcare provider recommends taking carbamazepine while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Carbamazepine and Breastfeeding

It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about carbamazepine and breastfeeding. Everyone's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about carbamazepine and breastfeeding for your particular situation.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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