Last update April 18, 2022
Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with mainly glucocorticoid activity. Oral, parenteral, topical cutaneous, intra-articular and ophthalmic administration.
Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.
Its high volume of distribution makes it difficult to excrete it in breast milk.
A decrease of prolactin release after administration of dexamethasone has been observed (Hubina 2002, Risch 1987), that may decrease milk production mostly in the first post-partum weeks.
Other steroids (Betamethasone) that are administered prior to delivery can produce a delay of Lactogenesis phase II (milk's coming in) and a decrease of milk production within the first postpartum week. (Henderson 2008). Intra-articular injected large doses of other steroids (Triamcinolone, Methylprednisolone) may transiently affect milk production. (Smuin 2016, Babwah 2013, McGuire 2012)
Corticoids are frequently prescribed in Pediatrics with no side effects on the infant when indicated for short-term or sporadical use. On nursing mothers a timely use or not long-term treatment is compatible with breastfeeding along with the assessment of milk production.
Expert authors consider the use of this medication to be probably compatible during breastfeeding. (Hale, Briggs 2017, Reece 2017, Bordini 2016, Chen 2010)
WHO Model List of Essential Drugs 2002: Compatible with breastfeeding in single dose. No data is available on long-term use. (WHO 2002)
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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