MHRA highlights alternatives to codeine during breastfeeding

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Codeine should not be prescribed to breastfeeding mothers.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) contraindicates the use of codeine in breastfeeding women due to a fatal case of opioid toxicity in a breastfed infant following maternal use.

Dihydrocodeine or tramadol may be considered as an alternative at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration.

The links below provide more information and advice on alternative treatment options.

Specialist Pharmacy Service: Which weak opioids can be used in breastfeeding?

w: https://www.sps.nhs.uk

Codeine: Restricted use as analgesic in children and adolescents

w: https://www.gov.uk

Breastfeeding Network: Codeine and Breastfeeding

w: https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/codeine/
Expiry date: Dec 26th, 2021