Can you take Dramamine while breastfeeding? - Evidence Based Babie
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can you take dramamine while breastfeeding

Can you take Dramamine while breastfeeding?

If you’re a breastfeeding mother and you struggle with bad motion sickness, chances are someone has recommended Dramamine to you. Although small does and occasional use of Dramamine is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers, larger doses may affect your baby’s health and the use of antihistamines in this class may affect your milk supply is certain circumstances.

What is Dramamine?

Dimenhydrinate, sold under the brand names of Dramamine, Driminate, Hydrate and Triptone, is an antihistamine and an antiemetic agent used for the treatment and prevention of motion sickness symptoms.

Dramamine is sold specifically for the use to help ease and prevent the symptoms of motion sickness such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness associated with motion sickness.

Dramamine consists of 55% Diphenhydramine and 45% 8-Chlorotheophylline. Diphenhydramine is considered to be the active ingredient of this medication.

Is Dramamine Breastfeeding Safe?

Dramamine is considered compatible with breastfeeding for short-term and occasional use.

Low levels of Diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient of Dramamine, is thought to be secreted into breast milk. While the levels secreted into breastmilk are believed to be low, this sedating antihistamine should only be used for a short duration and for occasional use in breastfeeding mothers. The use of Dramamine is not recommended in early lactation before breastfeeding has been established.

Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Dramamine is an antihistamine used for allergic conditions. It is also used as a sleep aid and as an antiemetic agent for the prevention of motion sickness.

There are anecdotal reports that Diphenhydramine, which is the active ingredient in Dramamine, suppresses milk production. There is no official data to support this.

There are no histamine receptors in the breast. It is possible that anticholinergic drugs like Diphenhydramine may indirectly impact lactation by impacting oxytocin, growth hormone, and prolactin levels.

Antihistamines and the Milk Supply

Antihistamines, such as Dramamine, hold the potential to impact your milk supply negatively, whether directly or indirectly. Particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before breastfeeding is well established.

Research has shown that certain medications within this category can affect basal serum prolactin levels.

Some studies have pointed out that while occasional use of these medications, including Dramamine’s active ingredient, Diphenhydramine, won’t cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants, caution is still warranted. Larger doses and prolonged use could pose risks, not only decreasing the milk supply but potentially affecting the infant’s health.

One case study showed that antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women. However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.

Antihistamines and breastfed infants

In one telephone follow-up study, mothers reported irritability and colicky symptoms of 10% of infants who were exposed to different antihistamines, drowsiness was reported in 1.6% of infants.

None of the reactions required medical attention. It’s good to be aware of the risk of side effects for your baby.

One woman became dependent on dimenhydrinate during her first pregnancy and continued to take it in a dose of 150 mg daily while she breastfed her infant for 3 months. The infant did well except for a febrile seizure at 2 years of age, which was probably unrelated to dimenhydrinate.

Alternatives to Dramamine and Other Antihistamines

As a breastfeeding mother, you may have concerns about how to best manage motion sickness without compromising your baby’s health or your milk supply. Don’t worry, there are some natural options available for you.

Ginger or ginger ale

Ginger and ginger ale is a great alternative to medications and has long been known as a treatment for nausea.

There are many ways to consume ginger or ginger ale as a nausea remedy. There are many chewable tablets available as over the counter medications, or even just a ginger ale or hard candy from the supermarket. Bonus if it’s carbonated, as there is some belief that this may also help combat nausea.

Clinical trials have shown that ginger is at least marginally effective against nausea caused by chemotherapy, anesthesia, motion sickness, and pregnancy.

According to one study, they hypothesized that ginger ameliorates the nausea associated with motion sickness by preventing the development of gastric dysrhythmias and the elevation of plasma vasopressin.

Sea bands

Sea-Bands with acupressure buttons are a noninvasive, inexpensive, safe, and effective treatment for the nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.

One study revealed that wearing Sea Bands significantly reduced the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.

Important notes on the use of Dramamine while breastfeeding

Certain antihistamines such as Dramamine are considered safe, but only for short-term and occasional use.

A decreased milk supply is always possible when taking antihistamines, especially with higher doses, long-term use or early in lactation.

To minimize any risks to your infant’s health, single bedtime doses after the last feeding of the day is recommended.

Always make sure of a medication’s safety for breastfeeding mothers before starting to use it, whether it’s dietary supplements, herbal products or prescription or nonprescription drugs. Especially if you have any medical conditions. Your healthcare professional can help you with the correct medicine and dosages to avoid any possible side effects, allergic reactions or possible drug interactions.

If you need any medical advice or medical help, contact your healthcare provider for information and support.

If you ever need any evidence-based information or support related to anything breastfeeding, consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Additional information and resources:

PubMed – Dimenhydrinate

Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials

Effect of acupressure by Sea-Bands on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy

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