No research has been done on breastfeeding and PegIntron, so it is unknown whether this drug would pass through human breast milk. It is likely that if PegIntron did pass through breast milk, it would be destroyed by the infant's digestive system. However, due to the unknown risks, the manufacturer of the medicine recommends that women not use PegIntron while nursing.
Can Breastfeeding Women Use PegIntron?
PegIntron® (peginterferon alfa-2b) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of hepatitis C. The manufacturer of the drug does not recommend that women use PegIntron while breastfeeding, due to the unknown risks. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, you should talk with your healthcare provider about using PegIntron.
More Information About PegIntron and Breastfeeding
No studies have been conducted on whether PegIntron passes through breast milk in humans. However, other similar interferon medications have been shown to pass though breast milk.
Notably, PegIntron is a delicate protein that cannot be taken by mouth. Instead, it must be given as an injection, as the digestive system would destroy the protein. Therefore, even if PegIntron passes through breast milk, it would probably be destroyed by the infant's digestive system.
However, because no studies have been performed, it is impossible to predict exactly what effects (if any) PegIntron may cause in a nursing infant.
You and your healthcare provider must consider the benefits of using this drug in your particular situation, the benefits of breastfeeding for your baby, and the possible risks PegIntron may pose to your baby.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should discuss PegIntron and breastfeeding 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.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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