Last update: Oct. 31, 2018
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.
Propranolol is a non-cardioselective beta blocker that is usually given orally or intravenously, once or twice a day.
It is used in the treatment of hypertension, pheochromocytoma, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, to control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorders and tremor. Other indications include the prophylaxis of migraine and upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with portal hypertension (FDA 2013, AEMPS 2012).
Propranolol is also used in infants with tetralogy of Fallot and to treat infantile hemangiomas.
The pharmacokinetic characteristics of propranolol, especially its high percentage of plasma protein binding (Riant 1986), explain the negligible excretion observed in milk, much lower than the dose used for newborns and babies (Anderson 2018, Atkinson 1988, Livingstone 1983, Smith 1983, Thorley 1983, Taylor 1981, Bauer 1979, Anderson 1976, Karlberg 1974, Levitan 1973).
Propranolol has been used successfully in cases of persistent breast pain during breastfeeding (Muddana 2018).
Monitoring of the infant is advised if propranolol is used in mothers of infants with asthma. (Hale 2019, p 636).
Some authors do not consider that beta-blockers are drugs of choice for the treatment of hypertension, unless there is another simultaneous indication, such as migraine or prophylaxis of angina (Anderson 2018).
Several medical associations, experts and expert consensus consider its use to be safe or probably safe during breastfeeding (Hale 2019 p 636, Alexander 2017, Malachias 2016, Serrano 2014, Davanzo 2014, Rowe 2013, Pringsheim 2012, Ghanem 2008 , Mahadevan 2006, WHO 2002, AAP 2001, Tan 2001, Shannon 2000, Taylor 1981, Lewis 1981).
The protective role of breastfeeding against maternal hypertension has been proven (Park 2018).
We do not have alternatives for Propranolol since it is relatively safe.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.
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Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine from United States of America
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