Pharmacists can provide advice to breastfeeding women on using medicines that are compatible with breastfeeding and on how to minimise infant exposure to medicines via breast milk.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss with consumers the safe use of medicines in breastfeeding
  • Identify factors that influence an infant’s exposure to a medicine in breast milk
  • Explain the pharmacist’s role in advising consumers of strategies to minimise infant exposure to medicines in breast milk.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1.2, 1.13, 1.5.1, 2.3.1, 2.4.1, 3.2.5, 3.5.2, 5.3.4.

Competencies (2010) addressed: 1.2.1, 1.5.2, 2.1.1, 2.1.3, 2.3.3, 4.3.3, 6.2.2, 7.1.4, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 8.1.4.

Case scenario

Angela, a young mum of four-month-old Harriet, comes to the pharmacy with a prescription for Panadeine Forte (paracetamol 500 mg, codeine phosphate hemihydrate 30 mg), prescribed as two tablets taken up to six-hourly as needed.

Angela has significant pain after badly spraining her ankle when she tripped and fell while jogging. She asks if she can safely take the medicine while breastfeeding Harriet. How would you respond?

Want to learn more? PSA members can access the full article and assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.

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