Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide and Breastfeeding
The manufacturer of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide (Acanya, BenzaClin, Duac) advises that nursing women avoid the drug, due to the potential risks. However, in some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend breastfeeding while using it. If you are taking clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide while nursing, be sure to watch for diarrhea, bloody stools, or other side effects in your child.
Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide (Acanya®, BenzaClin®, Duac®) is a prescription medication used to treat acne. It is a combination of two active medicines, clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide, that is applied to the skin once or twice a day. At this time, it is unknown if this medication passes through human breast milk. Therefore, you should talk to your healthcare provider before using it if you are breastfeeding a child.
No research has been done to see if the combination of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide passes through breast milk or if it would cause harm to a nursing infant. The manufacturer recommends that it not be used while breastfeeding because of the potential risks to the infant.
When taken by mouth or given by injection, clindamycin is known to pass through breast milk, and may cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, such as diarrhea and bloody stools, in a nursing infant. It is unknown, however, if topical use of clindamycin also passes through breast milk. It is also unknown if benzoyl peroxide, the other active ingredient, passes through breast milk.
Very little clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide is expected to be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream after normal use. Therefore, it is unlikely that the medicine would cause any significant risk to a nursing child. However, because of the lack of information, all possible risks cannot be ruled out.
If your healthcare provider recommends clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide while breastfeeding, do not apply it to your breast or the nipple area, where your infant would be directly exposed to it. Also, try to avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with your infant in the areas where you apply clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide until the medicine has completely dried.
Stop using this medicine and contact your child's healthcare provider immediately if you notice any side effects in your child, such as:
- Diaper rash
- Bloody stools.