Testopel and Breastfeeding

Testopel (testosterone pellets) is not approved for use in women and may cause problems if used while breastfeeding. The manufacturer recommends that women not use this medicine while nursing. It is known that testosterone, the active ingredient in Testopel, does pass through breast milk and can decrease milk production. Do not use this medicine without discussing it with your healthcare provider.

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Testopel?

Testopel® (testosterone pellets) is a prescription hormone medication used to increase testosterone levels in men. The manufacturer recommends that it not be used in women who are breastfeeding. In fact, Testopel is not approved for any use in women.

More Information on Testopel and Breastfeeding

Testopel has not been adequately studied in breastfeeding women, as it is only approved for use in men. However, there is one case report of a woman receiving a 100-mg testosterone pellet (similar to Testopel) while breastfeeding. In this case, testosterone passed through the breast milk in small amounts but did not appear to cause any problems in the nursing child.
However, it is not possible to make broad assumptions about the safety of using Testopel while breastfeeding based merely on this one case report. Milk levels were only tested for up to seven days after the pellet was implanted, even though the effects of the medicine last for several months. Also, it is unknown if higher testosterone doses would produce higher levels in the breast milk.
Testosterone reduces the production of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates milk production in lactating women. Because of this action, testosterone has been used to stop lactation in women who were producing milk but did not want to breastfeed. Although testosterone is no longer used for this purpose, we know from this previous use that it can decrease milk production.
Because of the unknown risks to a nursing child and the potential to decrease breast milk production, Testopel should not be used in breastfeeding mothers. Furthermore, as mentioned, the drug is not approved for use in women at all.
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