Psoriasis Home > Cyclosporine and Breastfeeding

Research has shown that cyclosporine does pass through human breast milk in small amounts. Although the amount of the drug that passes through the breast milk to a nursing infant may not be large enough to cause problems, all potential risks cannot yet be ruled out. Due to these unknown risks, the manufacturer of the drug recommends that women not use cyclosporine while breastfeeding.

Can Breastfeeding Women Take Cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called immunosuppressants. Cyclosporine is known to pass through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or planning to start, talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication.

More Information on Cyclosporine and Breastfeeding

Cyclosporine has been shown to pass through human breast milk in small amounts. The amount of the medicine passed to a nursing infant can vary, depending in part on how much cyclosporine the mother takes. Based on the available information, a nursing infant would likely receive no more than 2 percent of the mother's cyclosporine dosage.
There are no reports of serious problems occurring in nursing infants whose mothers took cyclosporine. However, the medicine has not been adequately studied to rule out all potential problems.
Because cyclosporine is associated with serious side effects, some experts recommend women not breastfeed during cyclosporine treatment. The manufacturer of the drug recommends that women who are receiving cyclosporine treatment should not breastfeed. However, other experts suggest that the drug is unlikely to cause problems, especially if the nursing child is older than two months of age.
If your healthcare provider recommends this medicine while breastfeeding, watch for any possible cyclosporine side effects in your infant. Talk to your child's healthcare provider if your child develops problems such as:
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Problems feeding
  • Excessive crying.
Your child's healthcare provider may also choose to do simple blood tests to measure the level of cyclosporine in your child's blood.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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