According to the manufacturer of AndroGel (testosterone gel), breastfeeding women should not use this medication. Because testosterone can suppress lactation, AndroGel can decrease your milk supply. Also, it is not known what effects the drug might have on a nursing infant (especially females) if it does pass through breast milk. Before using this drug, breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare providers.
Is AndroGel Safe While Breastfeeding?
AndroGel® (testosterone gel) is a prescription medication only approved for use in men. The manufacturer of this medication warns that breastfeeding women should not take AndroGel.
What Does the Research Say About AndroGel and Breastfeeding?
At one time, testosterone (the active ingredient in AndroGel) was used to suppress lactation (milk production) in women who chose not to breastfeed. It seems that testosterone inhibits prolactin, a hormone important for breastfeeding. Because AndroGel has the potential to decrease your breast milk supply, you should not take AndroGel if you are nursing.
Perhaps more importantly, it is not known if testosterone passes through breast milk in large amounts or if it could cause problems in breastfed infants. There might be particular concern for female infants.
Discussing AndroGel and Breastfeeding With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about AndroGel and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about AndroGel and breastfeeding that is right for you. In almost all conceivable circumstances, it seems that it is not a good idea for breastfeeding women to take this medication.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
AndroGel [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie, Inc.;2013 May.
AndroGel 1.62% [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2011 April.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
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