Last update Dec. 8, 2017


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Diethyltoluamide or DEET is an effective insect repellent against mosquitoes, black flies, ticks and fleas.

Since the last update, we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its pharmacokinetic data (low molecular weight, moderate cutaneous absorption and highly lipophilic) make its transfer to milk possible in amounts that could be significant.

There is no evidence that the use of DEET in breastfeeding mothers affects the child (Koren 2003).

Avoid the use of products with a concentration higher than 25%, do not use over extended areas of skin (Chen 2009) and do not apply to the chest. Avoid contact with the baby and ventilate well.

It is a product which is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in infants older than two months at concentrations not exceeding 30% (AAP 2017).

WHO list of essential medicines: compatible with breastfeeding (WHO / UNICEF, 2002).


We do not have alternatives for C12H17NO since it is relatively safe.

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.

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.

Other names

C12H17NO is Diethyltoluamide in Molecular formula.

Is written in other languages:

C12H17NO is also known as


C12H17NO belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing C12H17NO in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. Dermat. 9 - 56 ; Oral 100 %
Molecular weight 191 daltons
Tmax 1 - 2 hours
2.5 hours


  1. AAP. American Academy of Pediatrics. Summer Safety Tips. 2017 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Chen LH, Zeind C, Mackell S, LaPointe T, Mutsch M, Wilson ME. Breastfeeding travelers: precautions and recommendations. J Travel Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):32-47. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Koren G, Matsui D, Bailey B. DEET-based insect repellents: safety implications for children and pregnant and lactating women. CMAJ. 2003 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. 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)

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2012 of United States of America

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM