In general, Levoxyl and breastfeeding is considered a safe combination for both the mother and her nursing infant. Although Levoxyl does pass through breast milk, it does not appear to cause any problems for the nursing infant. In fact, women who have an underactive thyroid may not be capable of lactating properly without thyroid treatment (such as Levoxyl).
Levoxyl and Breastfeeding: An Overview
Levoxyl® (levothyroxine sodium) does pass through breast milk in humans, although it does not seem likely to cause any problems. Even though Levoxyl is generally considered safe for use during breastfeeding, it is still a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider about taking Levoxyl if you are breastfeeding (or planning to start breastfeeding).
Levoxyl and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
Studies have shown that Levoxyl passes through breast milk, just like natural thyroid hormones. In fact, even though it is synthetic, Levoxyl is identical to natural thyroid hormones. If your thyroid hormone levels are kept at normal levels, there is no reason to expect that Levoxyl would cause any problems during breastfeeding.
In fact, women with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may not be capable of lactating properly unless they are treated, whether with Levoxyl or other forms of thyroid replacement.
Only small amounts of Levoxyl pass through breast milk. This is not enough to treat an underactive thyroid in an infant. Instead, the infant must be treated directly.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Levoxyl and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Levoxyl 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 that is right for you. In general, Levoxyl is considered safe for women who are breastfeeding and for their infants.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Levoxyl [package insert]. Bristol, TN: King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2007 October.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed December 4, 2007.
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