If you are breastfeeding, it's best to avoid methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall). Methotrexate is fairly toxic, and it has the potential to cause serious side effects. If you are using the drug in lower doses, however, such as for rheumatoid arthritis treatment, the risks are smaller. In this case, your healthcare provider may not have a problem with you nursing during treatment.
Is Methotrexate Safe for Breastfeeding Women?
In general, methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) is considered unsafe for use while breastfeeding. If you are nursing a child, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking methotrexate.
More Information on Breastfeeding and Methotrexate
Methotrexate passes through breast milk. Because this is a fairly toxic medication with many serious side effects, many healthcare providers believe that women should not breastfeed while taking it.
Some experts believe that low doses, such as those typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, probably do not pose a large risk to a nursing child. If your healthcare provider recommends that you take methotrexate while breastfeeding and your child's healthcare provider also approved, your child should be carefully monitored to watch for any serious reactions.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss breastfeeding while taking methotrexate 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. In general, this medication is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Methotrexate [package insert]. Lake Forest, IL: Hospira, Inc.;2011 October.
Rheumatrex [package insert]. Fort Lee, NJ: DAVA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2009 July.
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