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Protopic and Breastfeeding

Because Protopic is applied to the skin, a breastfeeding woman could probably use it without problems, provided she avoids applying it to areas the baby has direct skin-to-skin contact with, like the nipple. If your healthcare provider recommends this drug and you are nursing a child, watch for problems with feeding, tremors, or anything else that just "does not seem right."

Can Breastfeeding Women Use Protopic?

Protopic® (tacrolimus ointment) is a prescription medication used to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) in people who have not adequately responded to, or who cannot use, other treatments. The manufacturer recommends that women not use Protopic when breastfeeding.

More Information About Protopic and Breastfeeding

Tacrolimus, the active ingredient in Protopic, is known to pass through breast milk in humans. However, even after being taken orally (by mouth) by a breastfeeding woman, very little of the drug is expected to pass to the nursing infant. In addition, based on reports of women who breastfed while taking tacrolimus, the drug does not appear to carry a significant risk to a nursing child.
Furthermore, Protopic is a topical medicine (applied directly to the skin), and very little of the drug is expected to be absorbed into the body with normal use. It should be noted, however, that certain things may increase the amount of Protopic absorbed through the skin into the body, such as:
  • Using the medicine more often than recommended
  • Using it on large areas of skin
  • Covering the treated skin with a bandage or dressing
  • Applying the ointment to skin that has open sores.
In addition, people with certain skin conditions may absorb more Protopic than normally expected.
If your healthcare provider recommends this medication while breastfeeding, be sure to observe your child for any possible side effects of Protopic. Talk to your child's healthcare provider if your child is showing signs of anything that just does not seem right, such as:
  • Problems feeding
  • Tremor
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty sleeping.
If your child's healthcare provider believes the symptoms could be due to Protopic, he or she can get simple blood tests to measure the level of medication in your child's blood.
It is probably best to avoid applying Protopic to the breast or nipple area, which would directly expose a nursing infant to the medicine. Also, try to limit direct skin-to-skin contact with areas of the skin where the medicine has been applied.
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Protopic Medication Information

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