Last update: July 21, 2017


Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Excreted into breast milk in quantities that would be clinically significant, however, intestinal absorption by infant's gut is hampered because of formation of chelating products by union with the milk's calcium.

No side-effect found among breastfed infants from treated mothers. Plasma levels in those infant were low or undetectable.

Long-term treatments (over 3-4 weeks) as for treatment of acne may cause damage to the growth cartilage, teeth discoloration and imbalance of intestinal flora. Thus, a safer alternative should be looked at. (See acne)

Be aware of false negative results that may be obtained from infants with bacterial cultures when the mother is on antibiotics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has rated it (2001) as compatible with breastfeeding.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Acne (Very Low Risk)


We do not have alternatives for Tetracycline 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.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Tetracycline belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Tetracycline in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Bioavailability 60 - 80 %
Molecular weight 444 daltons
Protein Binding 25 %
Tmax 1,5 - 4 hours
T1/2 6 - 12 hours
M/P ratio 0,6 - 1,5 -
Theoretical Dose 0,4 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 1,2 %
Relat.Ped.Dose 0,8 - 1,5 %


  1. Butler DC, Heller MM, Murase JE. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II. Lactation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Mar;70(3):417.e1-10; quiz 427. Abstract
  2. Kong YL, Tey HL. Treatment of acne vulgaris during pregnancy and lactation. Drugs. 2013 Abstract
  3. Rowe H, Baker T, Hale TW. Maternal medication, drug use, and breastfeeding. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):275-94. Abstract
  4. ASGE Standard of Practice Committee, Shergill AK, Ben-Menachem T, Chandrasekhara V, Chathadi K, Decker GA, Evans JA, Early DS, Fanelli RD, Fisher DA, Foley KQ, Fukami N, Hwang JH, Jain R, Jue TL, Khan KM, Lightdale J, Pasha SF, Sharaf RN, Dominitz JA, Cash BD. Guidelines for endoscopy in pregnant and lactating women. Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Fluhr JW, Degitz K. [Antibiotics, azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide in topical acne therapy]. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 Abstract
  6. Mitrano JA, Spooner LM, Belliveau P. Excretion of antimicrobials used to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections during lactation: safety in breastfeeding infants. Pharmacotherapy. 2009 Sep;29(9):1103-9. Abstract
  7. Worret WI, Fluhr JW. [Acne therapy with topical benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and azelaic acid]. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2006 Abstract
  8. Mahadevan U, Kane S. American gastroenterological association institute technical review on the use of gastrointestinal medications in pregnancy. Gastroenterology. 2006 Jul;131(1):283-311. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Niebyl JR. Antibiotics and other anti-infective agents in pregnancy and lactation. Am J Perinatol. 2003 Abstract
  10. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs. Transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics. 2001 Sep;108(3):776-89. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Chin KG, McPherson CE 3rd, Hoffman M, Kuchta A, Mactal-Haaf C. Use of anti-infective agents during lactation: Part 2--Aminoglycosides, macrolides, quinolones, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, and metronidazole. J Hum Lact. 2001 Feb;17(1):54-65. Abstract
  13. Spencer J. Use of systemic tetracyclines in women who are lactating. Am Fam Physician. 1998 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M, Eliopoulos C, Koren G. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 May;168(5):1393-9. Abstract
  15. Fulton B, Moore LL. Antiinfectives in breastmilk. Part II: Sulfonamides, tetracyclines, macrolides, aminoglycosides and antimalarials. J Hum Lact. 1992 Dec;8(4):221-3. Review. No abstract available. Abstract
  16. [No authors listed] Is maternal tetracycline use compatible with breastfeeding? J Hum Lact. 1991 Abstract
  17. Prakash O, Mathur GP, Kushwaha KP, Singh YD. Drug exposure in pregnant and lactating mothers in periurban areas. Indian Pediatr. 1990 Abstract
  18. Matsuda S. Transfer of antibiotics into maternal milk. Biol Res Pregnancy Perinatol. 1984 Abstract
  19. Peterson CK. Tetracycline's effects on teeth preclude uses in children and pregnant or lactating women. Postgrad Med. 1984 Abstract
  20. Hendeles L, Trask PA. Tetracycline and lactation. J Am Dent Assoc. 1983 Abstract
  21. Morganti G, Ceccarelli G, Ciaffi G. [Comparative concentrations of a tetracycline antibiotic in serum and maternal milk]. Antibiotica. 1968 Abstract
  22. GRAF H, RIEMANN S. [Studies on the concentration of pyrrolidinomethyltetracycline in human milk]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1959 Abstract
  23. KONICOFF NG, POSNER AC, PRIGOT A. Tetracycline in obstetric infections. Antibiot Annu. 1955 Abstract
  24. Gruner JM. [The excretion of terramycin and tetracycline in human milk]. Geburtshilfe Frauenheld (in: Lactmed 2015). 1955 Abstract

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